SDS E-Alert: Medicare and Federal Health Insurance Exchange Enrollment Extended

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma today announced that the agency has taken steps and is monitoring conditions in support of Alaska residents recovering from damage of the recent 7.0 earthquake that struck north of the city of Anchorage on Friday, November 30. On Dec. 3, 2018, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency (PHE) in areas of Alaska retroactive to Nov. 30, 2018. The PHE allows CMS to waive or modify certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements if necessary to provide health services

Concerning enrollment in Medicare and the Federal Health Insurance Exchange, CMS made this announcement:

Special Enrollment Opportunities for Individuals Impacted by the Alaska Earthquake and Medicare Flexibilities:

CMS has made special enrollment periods available for certain individuals seeking health plans offered through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange and all Medicare beneficiaries affected by the Alaska earthquake. This gives people impacted by the earthquake the opportunity to gain access to health coverage on the Exchange or to add, drop, or change their Medicare health and prescription drug plan if they are unable to make an election during the fall open enrollment period or another election period for which they are eligible. To request this SEP for Exchange coverage, individuals impacted by the earthquake must contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 or TTY at 1-855-889-4325 and indicate that they were unable to enroll during Open Enrollment due to the earthquake. To request the SEP for Medicare, individuals can contact the plan they wish to enroll, visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

For more information on the special enrollment periods, visit:

CMS encourages people with federal benefits and providers and suppliers of healthcare equipment and services that have been impacted by the Alaska earthquake, to seek help by visiting CMS’ emergency webpage (