General, Medicare

Equitable Relief for Medicare Enrollment and Disenrollment

May 3, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: May 3, 2022

Senior woman works on her tablet while sitting in her kitchenThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is providing equitable relief to individuals who could not submit premium Part A or Part B enrollment or disenrollment requests timely due to challenges contacting us by phone. This relief applies to the 2022 General Enrollment Period, Initial Enrollment Period, and Special Enrollment Period.

If you were unable to enroll or disenroll in Medicare because you could not reach us by phone after January 1, 2022, you will be granted additional time, through December 30, 2022.

For more information, call 1-800-772-1213 or use our Office Locator to find the number for a local office.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Jovita Z.

    I have been trying since December 2021 to get my medicare B. Even If I did it does not appear in my Medicare.
    Also I have changed my name in my SS and has been impossible to get my medicare card with my new name
    I hope somebody can help me

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jovita. We are sorry to hear about your experience. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We encourage you to continue to work with your local Social Security office. You can ask to speak to a supervisor on your next call or visit. We hope this is resolved soon. 

  2. Tamie M.

    The lifetime LEP Late Enrollment Penalty needs to be reviewed this is cruel punishment to someone on a fixed income with no way of replacing that income. Especially since there is very little education on how Medicare works. IRMAA rates also punish mostly middle income this needs to be adjusted to fit today’s incomes. Like everyone below 300K is at the $170.10 then adjusts up with highest at 2 million.

    • howard g.

      Premium criteria for IIRMA relief should consider as a “Life Changing” event the Lockdown and other Covid-19 restrictions.

      The disallowance for income bumps due to ‘one-time’ Capital Gains for conversion of Assets should be waived for rerasonable “Life Changing” situations.

  3. Steve R.

    Nothing the federal government does is done efficiently. I am two years into Medicare B and Social Security after working thru age 68. It is true amazing how difficult and complicated things are made by both entities. And with covid and all the reps “working” from home it was even made worse. My advice, save your money and live below your means before you retire.

    • Brenda G.

      I totally agree. I have been trying since December 2021 to get my medicare B. I am on disability and I have been on my husband’s insurance. I am 62 and I need to get Medicare B due to his insurance changed due to his co. was bought out. Unfortunately the for completed for his present employer and prior employers had some incorrect dates. This cause Medicare to have my start date for B to start in July. I stayed on the phone trying to getting it corrected. Granted it was not medicares fault, but they have had corrected forms since March. I am still waiting to get my medicare B.

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Brenda. We are sorry to hear about your experience. We encourage you to continue working with your local Social Security office. You can ask to speak to a manager on your next call or visit. You can also submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this is resolved soon. 

  4. Ed

    Stop sending billions of dollars of military equipment to Ukraine and other places — and start taking care of your own citizens. You treat us like criminals.

    • Don C.


      I enjoy reading and understanding the opinions of others. And; while I respect your opinion, I respectfully disagree.

      If I feel mistreated, I speak up loud and clear and will not remain silent and allow anyone to treat me like a criminal!

      You and I live in a country where we have the freedom to express our opinions.

      I feel blessed to live in a country where I have the freedom to express my opinion and I fully support our country fighting for freedom world wide with my tax dollars.

      • Marcia J.

        I am ashamed of how badly I was treated by Medicare with part B Because of disability I am unable to work but those who come and have never work here are very well taken care of may the almighty see us through

    • JP

      I know a person who has applied for SSDI but is perfectly healthy,I have pictures of this person on ladders remodeling his mother’s house, trimming trees and lifting heavy concrete boards!! He is being represented by Mylar and Oilinsky and will probably be getting back pay and Social Security Disability !!? JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF PEOPLE WHO SCAM THE GOVERNMENT !!!

      • Ann C.

        Hi, JP. Social Security takes reports of fraud very seriously. If you suspect fraud, you may find our fraud website helpful. Thanks!

    • MJ

      When you decline part B while working and have insurance. Think again. It’s hard to get SS to understand what you need. I sent paperwork in and a month later I called and they said, I have your paperwork, do you want to inroll in part B?
      Ugh, yes I do! So there you go.

  5. SassyGranny

    I am in agreement that the penalty assessed to retirees for not getting Part B insurance is totally unfair to people who have worked for so many years and cannot afford to have Part B.. For me it became necessary to acquire it and I am now paying a much higher rate for it than most. This is not a good way to treat seniors who have contributed so very much and receiving less.

    • Hw

      I agree I faught 5 years for my disability! Finally get it now .now after using my life savings, and my children paying my bills for years! I was only awarded 1 and a half years of the five years I became disabled! I payed back all what I owed to my family . Now they want me to pay 170.10 a month for Medicare, when I just came stable again to pay my own bills without help!!!!

  6. Frances

    My husband retired in 2000, had many illnesses & was enrolled in both Medicare A & B. He also had secondary insurance with my FEP BCBS plan which covered all his meds and the 20% not covered by standard Medicare B. One year I changed to a less expensive FEP self plus 1 plan which doesn’t cover any non-preferred providers. I looked at all our past EOB’s and all providers shown were preferred so I thought he was safe with insurance coverage. Last year he passed out at his primary doctor’s office and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. I could not visit or see him or talk to him on the phone. He was deaf plus had dementia. Five days later he was released. I soon received 2 EOB.s that showed we owed 2 doctor bills ($1300 & $740) for services rendered on the day he was released. All they did was approve his release and then released him. It’s good that he had standard Medicare B because they disallowed those huge amts. & paid 80 % of a lowered approved amt. My FEP would not pay the balance which I gladly paid at the much lowered 20% bill. However, if that had been me in the hospital without standard Medicare B coverage, I would have been required to pay the full amts of $1300 and $740.

  7. Frances

    I retired from USPS in 2003 and have retained my FEP BCBS health insurance and will continue to do so. I enrolled in Medicare A Hospital but did not enroll in B since it didn’t cover medications and I considered it more economical to just pay any 20% required with my FEP insurance rather than a monthly Medicare B fee. At a recent Senior meeting a guest Medicare Plan speaker (a rep for all plans) said that as long as one continues to retain their former employers health insurance throughout their retirement that they could enroll in Medicare B at whatever the current rate is & will not be penalized with a much higher percentage rate based on years when not enrolled. Is this true? That is not how I read the rule re Medicare B enrollment.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for your question, Frances. Typically, to be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period and to avoid a Medicare Part B penalty, you must meet certain conditions if you are now past your Initial Enrollment Period. 

      Generally, if you apply for Medicare Part B after age 65, you can sign up only during the general enrollment period (GEP).  The GEP lasts from January 1 through March 31.  Coverage would begin July 1.  Most people who sign up for Part B during the GEP will have a 10 percent increase in monthly premiums for each 12-month period that they did not enroll, but were eligible. 

      For specific questions about your case, call 1-800-772-1213, Monday -Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you, or you can contact your local office. We hope this helps!

  8. Teresa M.

    Everyone should be more helpful to each other. The misinformation will cost $$$, and I don’t bring in that much. I worked 50 years of my life and someone that never worked, is drawing more than I.

  9. Lance

    They should take away the penalty

  10. Rosemarie

    I see relief is being given to those who may have had phone difficulties. Why is it then no consideration can be give to a person who was blantly misinformed by their humane dept to NOT take Part B and cause a late emrollment several years later when told by a new health insurance plan to YES sign up for Part B. from 2002 till now I suffer 40% penalty for something that never was my fault and both SS and medicare threrw out my written complaints stating I should have know better. A deaf senior being told what not to do and remarks like that never made sense to me. Do you realise how much money this costs me each month???

    • Jeff R.

      Yikes! That sounds horrible.

      • S J.

        This blog is not accomplishing w what it says it is going to do, or is doing!!

        • Darcel C.

          What happens when SS makes a mistake about your enrollment & decides to impose a penalty when not merited? YIKES

          • Noname

            You pay for it! And there is no
            reconsideration or help for the misinformed or trying to fix the broken system.

          • Helen M.

            If a federal employee/office is the cause of the mistake than you would file an appeal w/Social Security explaining the situation and what the federal office did that caused your penalty. You should send this letter to your local Social Security office.

    • Christina G.

      My military separation was changed to retirement 7 years after my initial separation date; retroactive to original separation date. My original separation did not require Part B. My upgrade to Retirement requires Part B. Because the reclassification was retroactive Social Security charges me a Late Enrollment Penalty, despite the fact that I enrolled only weeks after the military informed me of my new separation status of Retirement.

      • Helen M.

        You have the right to appeal your penalty and provide documentation to justify the reason why you should not have a penalty. If at your original separation you were 65 than yes, you should’ve gotten your Part B started (Tricare for Life requires Part B in order for it to work).

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