Special Enrollment Period for Medicare recipients affected by Hurricane Florence

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced that Medicare beneficiaries impacted by Hurricane Florence have been granted an extended Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to sign up for 2019 benefits.

This extended period gives beneficiaries an extra month to enroll in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan due to the unforeseen circumstances that accompany a natural disaster.

The 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment period runs Oct. 15 – Dec.7 with coverage to take effect Jan. 1, 2019. This SEP allows those affected by the storm to enroll through Jan. 7, 2019 with coverage to begin Feb. 1, 2019.

The SEP is in effect for the 34 North Carolina counties declared major disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Florence: Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Union, Wayne and Wilson.

The extension applies to two sets of residents: Those who live in the disaster zones as well as others outside the 34 counties who assist the storm victims.


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.

For more information, call 855-408-1212.

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