In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, hospitals in non-impacted areas are working in overdrive providing care for hospitals in the affected regions. Laura was a category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in Texas and Louisiana, causing 6 reported deaths and leaving thousands without power in the region. In order to help ease the pressure on both hospitals and their patients, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) waived Medicare requirements for hospitals in the affected region.
What Does This Mean?
CMS waived multiple requirements for insurance programs to allow hospitals to care for more people impacted by Hurricane Laura. After HHS Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in both Louisiana and Texas, CMS said it will grant more requests for specific types of hospitals in the impacted area.
This allows hospitals to treat patients more effectively without having to go through the red tape of the insurance companies to properly care for impacted people.
Special Enrollment Periods
CMS will soon make available special enrollment periods for specific medicare beneficiaries and individuals looking for health plans through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange. This SEP will give people impacted by the hurricane the ability to change their Medicare and prescription drug plans if they are deemed eligible for the enrollment period.
Additionally, CMS developed a disaster response toolkit for those needing answers in the aftermath of an unforeseen circumstance like a hurricane. The toolkit will include information on state plan flexibilities, federal disaster resources, and more. SEP’s are crucial for people who need a change in coverage due to something relating to the disaster, such as an illness developing or finding a different doctor.
Special Enrollment Periods last 60 days from the declaration of disaster. For Louisiana, it is 60 days from Aug. 22. For Texas, it is 60 days from Aug. 23.
The CMS waivers for people impacted by the Hurricane are essential to the well-being of all residents impacted by a natural disaster. The 60 day period is essential for people who need a change in their Medicare coverage to be able to adequately service themselves in times of need.
If you have questions about the Hurricane Laura Special Enrollment Period for impacted hospitals or your Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage coverage, call Empower today. Let our licensed agents help you stay on top of your health and get you back to the activities you enjoy the most. 1-888-446-9157 or click here to get an INSTANT QUOTE.