Sending Office: Honorable Joseph D. Morelle
Deadline: Monday, April 20th at Noon
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and widespread stay-at-home orders, many older Americans have missed the 2020 deadline to enroll in Medicare. Those that did successfully enroll are not able to receive coverage until July 1st. This has left
many seniors, who are among the most vulnerable to serious coronavirus complications, at risk both financially and physically.
The General Medicare Enrollment Period for Parts A and B is open from January 1st to March 31st of each year. Seniors that fail to enroll when eligible may be saddled with a penalty on their premiums that they must pay for the rest
of their lives. During these fearful and confusing times, those that missed the deadline are simply left without coverage.
Please join me in urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to:
- Extend the 2020 General Enrollment Period for Medicare beneficiaries until June 30th
- Begin coverage for beneficiaries one month after enrollment
- Waive any penalties for late enrollment during the 2020 General Enrollment Period
Many Americans would not be able to financially weather this epidemic without strong health coverage. American seniors deserve strong Medicare protections and extra protections during this time.
For additional information please contact Maria Oparil in Rep. Joe Morelle’s office at Maria.Oparil@mail.house.gov.
Joseph D. Morelle
Member of Congress
Dear Administrator Verma,
Seniors are among those most vulnerable to serious complications from COVID-19. In response, older Americans have been staying home as much as possible, leaving many unable to receive the guidance they may need to sign up for Medicare coverage.
As you are aware, the General Medicare Enrollment Period is open from January 1st to March 31st of each year. Additionally, many seniors reached their initially enrollment period during this time. As a direct result of the timing of
this outbreak, many seniors in our communities have missed the deadline to enroll in Medicare Part A and B.
In these tragic and uncertain times, we strongly encourage you to re-open a special emergency extension through June 30th of the 2020 General Enrollment Period to allow eligible seniors to enroll in Part A and B coverage this year.
We also hope you will take steps to ensure that no seniors face a continuing financial burden from their inability to enroll during these special circumstances by waiving any penalties incurred during the 2020 General Enrollment Period.
Additionally, a serious concern still remains even for those that were able to enroll despite nation-wide lockdowns. Those beneficiaries will have to wait until July 1st for their coverage to begin, risking their health and financial well-being
should they fall ill with coronavirus while waiting for Medicare coverage. During the peak of this pandemic, CMS should consider allowing new Medicare beneficiaries to begin receiving coverage only one month after their enrollment, rather than waiting until
We recognize these are departures from usual Medicare Part and B procedures. However, these are not usual times, and your administration has the ability to make simple, temporary policy changes to ensure the health and well-being of seniors across the nation.
We strongly urge you to extend the 2020 General Enrollment Period, allow for early recipient of coverage, and waive any late enrollment penalties.
Older Americans deserve strong Medicare coverage to protect their health and financial we—being as they face this uncharted time. Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your ongoing work on behalf of all Americans during this crisis.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0