Megan (megan0905) wrote in medicare,

Hurricane Katrina - End of the delayed termination policy

As a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, Medicare implemented a delayed termination policy last fall which kept a person’s Medicare coverage in force even if they were unable to pay their Medicare premium. The policy initially was in place for 6 months and then was extended another 6 months through Sept. 30, 2006. Medicare is sending letters to let beneficiaries know that the delayed termination policy due to Hurricane Katrina will end on Sept. 30. Their Sept. bill will have an end date of Sept. 30, and their Medicare coverage will end on that date unless they take action now.

August 1, 2006

Dear Medicare Beneficiary

As a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) implemented a delayed termination policy for a 6-month period for those beneficiaries who were living in or had lived in the impacted areas at the time of the designation as a Federal Disaster Area. This delayed termination policy was extended for an additional six months through September 30, 2006. During this time, you were billed for Medicare premiums and your Medicare coverage was continued even if you were unable to pay the bill.

This letter is to inform you that the delayed termination due to Hurricane Katrina will end on September 30, 2006. Your September bill will contain a termination date of September 30, 2006, and your Medicare coverage will terminate on that date unless you take appropriate action.

We strongly recommend that you take action now to maintain your Medicare coverage. Your options include:

- Discussing your individual circumstance with your local Social Security Office to either establish relief or a manageable payment schedule. Your local Social Security Office will have access to your Medicare records.
- Paying the premium balance due in full prior to September 30, 2006

It is important that you discuss your Medicare premium due amount with your local Social Security Office. Other sources of assistance may be locally available. The local Social Security Office is the only authority that can officially relieve or establish a payment schedule for your Medicare premium debt.

We encourage you to explore all available options with your local Social Security Office in order to avoid Medicare termination on September 30, 2006.

Sincerely yours,
G. Jeffrey Chaney
Accounting Management Group
Office of Financial Operations
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