A Special Enrollment Period Proposed for Those Formerly Incarcerated Through Medicare

A new Special Enrollment Period (SEP) has been proposed that would take effect on January 1, 2023, and would allow formerly incarcerated individuals to avoid potential gaps in coverage and late enrollment penalties for the rest of their lives. Currently incarcerated individuals turning 65 are not automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and may not enroll as health care is provided through the penal institution. Those leaving incarceration after 65 may go without coverage for months after their release. Individuals would be eligible for this SEP if they demonstrate that they are eligible for Medicare and failed to enroll or reenroll in Medicare premium Part A or Part B during another enrollment period in which they were eligible to enroll while they were incarcerated. The proposed SEP would start on the day of the individual’s release from incarceration and end the last day of the sixth month after the month in which the individual is released from incarceration. Comments on the proposed rule must be received no later than 5:00 pm on June 27, 2022.