Senator Hassan, Colleagues Pushed to Ensure Seniors Have a Smooth Path to Medicare Coverage after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Ends
WASHINGTON – Following calls from U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and colleagues, the administration announced a proposal to create a new Medicare special enrollment period for seniors currently enrolled in Medicaid and waive any accrued late-fees seniors may face for failing to get covered earlier.
“Older Granite Staters shouldn’t have to worry about losing their health insurance once the COVID emergency declaration officially ends,” Senator Hassan said. “This new special enrollment period that I called for will help ensure that older Americans can easily transition to Medicare without fear of health care coverage gaps.”
When the COVID- public health emergency was announced, Congress passed into law legislation to expand Medicaid coverage for more children, working adults, and older Americans to ensure that they had access to health insurance. However, once the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, that expanded Medicaid coverage will end and states will begin removing ineligible individuals from the program, including older Americans who qualified for Medicare during the pandemic but have not enrolled in Medicare yet because they are still receiving health coverage through Medicaid. Last week, Senator Hassan and her colleagues called on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) Administrator Brooks-LaSure to establish a special enrollment period for these beneficiaries to sign up for Medicare coverage, and waive any related late-enrollment fees these seniors may face for failing to get covered earlier — which CMS has now announced it will do.
Senator Hassan is working to lower health care costs for all Americans, and led successful, bipartisan efforts with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to help end the practice of surprise medical billing, which is now in effect. Senators Hassan and Cassidy also successfully passed into law their bipartisan legislation to enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower drug costs. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan, which Senator Hassan helped pass into law, is helping to lower health care costs for many Granite Staters who purchase health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.