CMS Extends Penalty Relief to Medicare-Eligible People on a Marketplace Plan
n4a recently signed on to an effort headed by the Medicare Rights Center encouraging CMS to extend a current policy that offers penalty relief and enrollment assistance to individuals who mistakenly delayed Medicare enrollment while on the Marketplace/health insurance exchange. The 80 signing organizations also asked CMS to develop a permanent relief pathway for impacted beneficiaries.
On September 28, the Agency informally announced its decision to issue the requested one-year extension. Known as time-limited equitable relief, this policy helps some Medicare beneficiaries correct problems with their Part B enrollment resulting from confusion or misinformation regarding Medicare and the Marketplaces. Under this relief, Medicare-eligible individuals with Marketplace coverage can apply to enroll in Part B without penalty, and those who have already transitioned to Medicare can request that any Part B late enrollment penalties be reduced or eliminated. Earlier this week, CMS also agreed to work toward a permanent fix to this problem, ensuring that those affected can access this relief at any time in the future.
SHIP counselors and Exchange Assisters should be aware of this recent announcement. The Social Security Administration's Emergency Message has been updated to reflect the policy change, and CMS materials will be updated soon, but here is a sneak peak.
See Medicare Rights' educational tool, Medicare Interactive, for more information on equitable relief.