CMS rule change adds Medicare special enrollment periods

A CMS rule finalized Oct. 28 will reduce gaps in Medicare enrollment for new enrollees and adds special enrollment periods for extenuating circumstances. 

According to a news release from the agency, enrollees will begin receiving benefits the month after their enrollment, reducing gaps in coverage. 

The new rule adds special enrollment periods to allow individuals to sign up for Medicare coverage without a late penalty if they miss the initial enrollment period. 

The special enrollment periods apply to individuals if they were affected by a disaster, their employer or health plan misrepresented information about Medicare enrollment, they were incarcerated, or if they lose Medicaid coverage after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. 

The rule also includes a new immunosuppressive drug benefit for Medicare recipients who have had a kidney transplant.

The changes finalized in the rule go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

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