Health

Feds expand Medicare enrollment window

(File photo) Devices used to take blood pressure, temperature, and examine eyes and ears rest on a wall inside of a doctor's office in New York March 22, 2010.  (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
(File photo) Devices used to take blood pressure, temperature, and examine eyes and ears rest on a wall inside of a doctor's office in New York March 22, 2010. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Those who have not yet signed up for Medicare coverage have an extended window of time to do so, federal officials announced Friday.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has extended the equitable relief period for certain individuals through Sept. 30.

This time period has been left open for individuals who enrolled in insurance plans on the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, but could have enrolled in Medicare coverage after these individuals lost their own or their spouse’s job-based insurance plan.

Time-limited equitable relief is a process that allows people to request either immediate enrollment into Medicare Part B or elimination of any standing penalties. Through this process, late-

enrollment penalties will be waved and enrollees will not experience gaps in their coverage.

“CMS’s decision to expand equitable relief will help even more people hampered by costly penalties and those going without needed health care,” said Joe Baker, president of Medicare Rights, a New York-based not-for-proft health care advocacy group, in a news release.

For more information on time-limited equitable relief and how to apply, go to the Medicare Interactive’s website at medicareinteractive.org.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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