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CMS Provides Exchange Special Enrollment Due to COVID-19

On January 28, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new special enrollment period (SEP) due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through Exchanges using the federal platform.

Starting on February 15, 2021, and continuing through May 15, 2021, Exchanges using the platform will make a SEP available to all Exchange-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. Beginning on Feb. 15, 2021, consumers seeking to take advantage of this SEP can find out if they are eligible by visiting Consumers will have 30 days after they submit their application to choose a plan.

Eligible participants do not need to provide any documentation of a qualifying event (such as loss of a job or birth of a child), which is typically required for SEP eligibility.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers with Medicare eligible employees (age 65 or older) should be aware of this extended special enrollment period and may refer employees who have questions about Medicare enrollment and options to CMS and/or their company’s insurance carrier.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.