A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) occurs based on a life event, such as a move or loss of coverage. These special circumstances may allow you to enroll in Medicare outside of designated Annual Enrollment and General Enrollment periods. Whatever your special circumstance may be, an SEP allows you to enroll in a Medicare plan during this time.
If you’re moving to an area where your current plan is not covered, an SEP is available for you to switch to a new plan. This is also the case if you move to an area that does cover your plan, but also has more options for you to choose. This SEP lasts up to two months.
Natural disasters, weather-related emergencies and major disasters happen, whether we expect them or not—from floods to earthquakes to global pandemics. If you find yourself caught up in it, you may qualify for an SEP.
If your employer or union allows you to enroll in their coverage, this may qualify you for an SEP. You can also qualify if you’re enrolling in drug coverage equal to Medicare’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plan.
Because Medicare Advantage plans come from the private sector, there are contracts with Medicare that allow them to provide you with your Parts A and B benefits. Sometimes, these contracts are terminated by either party. This event qualifies you for an SEP.