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Open Enrollment Extension In States Hit By Hurricanes


The federal government is expanding the length of the open enrollment period for Medicare and Obamacare health insurance policies in Florida and other states impacted by disaster.

December 31 is now the deadline for people in counties where disasters were declared following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

For the 1.4 million Floridians with Obamacare plans, they can sign up for plans on HealthCare.gov for 2018 plans between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. That’s two weeks longer than others will have.

The special enrollment period for Medicare will apply to individuals planning to enroll, dis-enroll or switch Medicare health or prescription drug plans, according to the announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

“With the public health emergencies in effect, CMS has temporarily waived or modified certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements to provide healthcare providers, facilities, and suppliers the flexibility they need so they can focus on the health and safety of those impacted by the hurricanes,” the agency said in its statement.

It states that seniors should contact 1-800-MEDICARE to request if they want this special enrollment. Enrollees also can learn more here

Individuals wanting to enroll or re-enroll in the federal health insurance marketplace using the special enrollment period can learn more here.  

Copyright 2017 Health News Florida

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.