Medicare Special Enrollment Period for recipients affected by Hurricane Dorian

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced that Medicare beneficiaries impacted by Hurricane Dorian have been granted a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to sign up for 2020 benefits.

This SEP gives beneficiaries extra time to enroll in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan due to the unforeseen circumstances that accompany a natural disaster.

The 2020 Medicare Open Enrollment period ended Dec. 7, 2019.  This SEP allows those affected by the storm to enroll through Jan. 31, 2020 with coverage to begin Feb. 1, 2020.

The SEP is in effect for the 26 North Carolina counties declared major disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Dorian: Beaufort, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Greene, Hoke, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wayne.

The extension applies to two sets of residents: Those who live in the disaster zones as well as others living outside the 26 counties who rely on help from people living in the affected areas. 


The Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is a free N.C. Department of Insurance health benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or caregivers. SHIIP’s mission is to educate, advocate, counsel and empower people to make informed decisions about Medicare or their prescription drug plan.  SHIIP counselors are not licensed insurance agents, and they do not sell or endorse any product, plan, or company.  If you have questions about your specific plan, we encourage you to contact your insurance agent or the insurance company.

For more information, call 855-408-1212.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.