Hurricane Sandy Resources on Health Benefits Access- Emergency Rules & Deadlines Extended

The Empire Justice Center has compiled links to Resources for Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy.   Please see that link for information on Immediate/Emergency assistance, legal assistance, Food Stamps, Consumer, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Housing, Immigration, and general information on where to get help.  

Listed below are some links regarding access to Medicare, Medicaid and other health benefits.  Please check the above Empire Justice Center link too which is being updated frequently.

New Nov. 7, 2012 - Medicare Enrollment Period for 2013 Extended Past Dec. 7, 2012 - and Other Medicare Relief

Nov. 7, 2012 - CMS  granted the Medicare Rights Center's request to allow persons affected by Sandy to enroll in Part D or C (Medicare Advantage) outside of the Annual Enrollment Period, which would otherwise end Dec. 7, 2012. (MRC is  following up separately with the Social Security Administration regarding Part A and B enrollments.) There's no time limit for people to enroll.  They just need to call 1-800 Medicare, and explain that they were adversely affected by the hurricane. Individuals don't need to prove that they live in an area affected by Sandy.  The extension also applies to individuals who don’t live in the affected area but rely on help making healthcare decisions from friends or family members who live in the affected areas.

Here is a link to the Medicare Rights Center’s press release about the extended enrollment period for those affected by the hurricane.  Link to CMS Memorandum.

Also on Nov. 7th, CMS reiterated the responsibilities of Part C and D plans during a federal disaster, as outlined in current guidance (Managed Care and Part D Manuals, Benefits and Beneficiary Protections Chapters (section 160 Part C and 50.12 Part D).) As with all disaster declaration, Medicare Advantage plans and Part D sponsors are expected to do the following:

For Part C (Medicare Advantage)

For Part D:

Link to CMS Memorandum of Nov. 7th.

For more links re Medicare   see the Empire Justice Center link.

FAIR HEARINGS SCHEDULED in NYC during 2 weeks of Oct. 29th and Nov. 5th  -- will be automatically rescheduled 


Governor Cuomo, on Oct. 31, 2012, has suspended the deadlines for fair hearing requests and legal filings indefinitely under State disaster emergency authority.  


DARB - NYC Medical Assistance Program
180 Water Street, 9th Fl.
NY NY 10038    (this amends previous procedure that did not allow any mailing of pay-in)

Allows home care and personal care to be provided in disaster emergency shelters, where would otherwise be covered by Medicaid or commercial insurance.  Gives contact info to State personnel.

The State Department of Health has approved the following changes for New York City clients:
 All Medicaid closings in process will be stopped and re-implemented once the crisis is over.
 Medicaid cases due to expire in November or December, 2012 will receive an automatic two month extension.
 No case will be closed for failure to respond to a renewal or other request for information until further notice.

If you are aware of individual case situations caused by Hurricane Sandy that are not covered by these easements we encourage you to bring them to our attention. We will do our best to assist and such cases may help us identify the need for further easements. If you have such situations, please call (212) 273-0047/48 or e-mail Maria Ortiz-Quezada at

Please be reminded, however, that almost all Medicaid actions can be completed by phone or mail. Additionally, most Medicaid consumers can renew their Medicaid coverage on-line at ACCESS NYC.

Managed Long Term Care & Managed Care --

For more links re Medicare and other disaster related information, see the Empire Justice Center link. 

Other Benefits --

Con Edison --  UPDATED 11/21/12- Con Ed has clarified that it will NOT reimburse residential customers for actual losses of food spoiled due to lack of refrigeration due to Hurricane Sandy. There may be some limited circumstances where the power outage was caused by ConEd's own post-storm actions...  

14 Nov, 2012
Hurricane Sandy Resources on Health Benefits Access- Emergency Rules & Deadlines Extended