CMS Finalizes Updates to Medicare Enrollment and Eligibility Policies

Last week, CMS issued a final rule implementing changes made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 to make it easier for people to enroll in Medicare and to eliminate delays in coverage. Among these changes, individuals will now have Medicare coverage the month immediately after their enrollment.  In addition, the rule expands access through Medicare special enrollment periods and allows certain eligible beneficiaries to receive Medicare Part B coverage without a late enrollment penalty. Nearly one-fifth of Medicare beneficiaries live in rural areas, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s July 2022 Data Book.