No Late-Enrollment Fee for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries
Low-income Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible for additional subsidies for coverage under the drug benefit will not face a late-enrollment penalty in 2007, the Stockton Record reports.
Leslie Norwalk, acting administrator of CMS, said, "This is our most difficult population to reach and the one for which we continue to focus our efforts." She added, "By continuing to remove the fear of a late fee for those who may not be able to pay, we are taking a positive step aimed at broader coverage for everyone."
Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for the Social Security subsidy will be allowed to enroll in a drug plan throughout 2007. Medicare will enroll the beneficiaries in a drug plan if they do not enroll themselves.
The penalty also will not apply to people who become eligible for Medicare for the first time in 2007 and enroll in a drug plan during their initial enrollment period (Stockton Record, 1/10).