Delays in the Social Security Phone System May Give You More Time to Sign Up for Medicare – Learn How
Delays in the Social Security Phone System May Give You More Time to Sign Up for Medicare – Learn How

Delays in the Social Security Phone System May Give You More Time to Sign Up for Medicare – Learn How


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Elderly who have not been able to sign up for Medicare in 2022 due to telephone system delays at the Social Security Administration can now ask for extra time for registrationeven if their enrollment periods have expired.

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As AARP reported this week, you can sign up for this special “fair relief” by visiting a Social Security office or calling 800-772-1213. You can also contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program center. In any case, just tell the staff about the problems you’ve had with getting through to someone on the phone.

“Social Security did not reopen its offices for walk-in appointments until early April, so people without Internet access who could not access Social Security over the phone had no recourse,” said Elizabeth Goodsitt, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services told AARP, adding that her state’s SHIP center received several reports of people unable to reach Social Security due to telephone problems.

If you sign up for fair relief, you have until Dec. 30 to sign up for Medicare. The extra time is especially important for those who missed the annual general enrollment period, which ended March 31st. By signing up for a reasonable relaxation, you can avoid penalties for late enrollment in connection with your initial or special enrollment periods.

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Seniors who ran up medical bills during the time they were eligible to be on Medicare can apply for Medicare coverage retroactively as far back as January 1st. In this case, you must pay all premiums in a lump sum, even though the amount can be deducted from your current social benefits.

Most people get Part A for free, but have to pay $ 170.10 a month for Part B, AARP noted. Single beneficiaries and married couples with higher incomes pay more. After receiving the retroactive coverage through fair relief, you can ask your doctors to resubmit the bills to Medicare.

If you want to sign up for Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug coverage, here’s what you need to know: Once you have been notified of Medicare coverage retroactively, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will provide you with a two- months special enrollment period to choose a plan.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you sign up for Medicare retroactively through the Fair Emergency Assistance Program, you could lose several months of Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) open sign-up period if you choose to sign up for it, AARP noted.

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About the author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who has previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a BA in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting won awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A North Carolina native who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” became number two in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.


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