Medicare Special Enrollment Period Declared

May 8, 2020

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina wants to ensure you have access to information related to the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for FEMA- declared disasters available in our state. The COVID-19 FEMA declared national emergency was effective as of March 1, 2020. As such, it qualifies for an SEP designation.

The SEP for the COVID-19 pandemic began on March 1, 2020 and goes through June 30, 2020. This is based on the enrollment guidance as outlined in Section of Chapter 2 of the Medicare Managed Care Manual which states: The SEP is available from the start of the incident period and for four full calendar months thereafter.

 To use this SEP, the beneficiary:

  1. Must reside or resided in the area for which FEMA has declared an emergency (in this case this emergency applies to the entire State of South Carolina) AND
  2. Had another valid election period during the time of the incident, March 1 through June 30, AND 
  3. Did not make an election during that time.

The SEP is also available to those individuals who don’t live in the affected areas but rely on help making healthcare decisions from friends or family members who live in the affected areas.


Do you or your clients have additional questions? 

Details on weather and disaster-related SEPs are available on and address issues such as eligibility for the SEP and how to enroll: 

Read the official memorandum from CMS concerning the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period.

Need more assistance? 

Contact your marketing representative.

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