42 CFR § 406.24 - Special enrollment period related to coverage under group health plans.

§ 406.24 Special enrollment period related to coverage under group health plans.

(a)Terminology. As used in this subpart, the following terms have the indicated meanings.

(1)Current employment status has the meaning given this term in § 411.104 of this chapter.

(2)Family member has the meaning given this term in § 411.201 of this chapter.

(3)Group health plan (GHP) and large group health plan (LGHP) have the meanings given those terms in § 411.101 of this chapter, except that the “former employee” language of those definitions does not apply with respect to SEPs because -

(i) Section 1837(i)(1)(A) of the Act explicitly requires that GHP coverage of an individual age 65 or older, be by reason of the individual's (or the individual's spouse's) current employment status; and

(ii) The sentence following section 1837(i)(1)(B), of the Act refers to “large group health plan”. Under section 1862(b)(1)(B)(i), as amended by OBRA '93, LGHP coverage of a disabled individual must be “by virtue of the individual's or a family member's current employment status with an employer”.

(4)Special enrollment period (SEP) is a period provided by statute to enable certain individuals to enroll in Medicare without having to wait for the general enrollment period.

(b)Duration of SEP.2 (1) The SEP includes any month during any part of which -

2 Before March 1995, SEPs began on the first day of the first month the individual was no longer covered under a GHP or LGHP by reason of current employment status.

(i) An individual over age 65 is enrolled in a GHP by reason of the current employment status of the individual or the individual's spouse; or

(ii) An individual under age 65 and disabled -

(A) Is enrolled in a GHP by reason of the current employment status of the individual or the individual's spouse; or

(B) Is enrolled in an LGHP by reason of the current employment status of the individual or a member of the individual's family.

(2) The SEP ends on the last day of the eighth consecutive month during which the individual is at no time enrolled in a GHP or an LGHP by reason of current employment status.

(c)Conditions for use of a SEP.3 In order to use a SEP, the individual must meet the following conditions:

3 Before August 10, 1993, an individual under age 65 could qualify for a SEP only if he or she had LGHP coverage as an “active individual”, which the statute defined as “an employee, employer, self-employed individual (such as the employer), individual associated with the employer in a business relationship, or as a member of the family of any of those persons”.

(1) When first eligible to enroll for premium hospital insurance under § 406.20(b) or (c), the individual was -

(i) Age 65 or over and covered under a GHP by reason of the current employment status of the individual or the individual's spouse;

(ii) Under age 65 and covered under an LGHP by reason of the current employment status of the individual or a member of the individual's family ; or

(iii) Under age 65 and covered under a GHP by reason of the current employment status of the individual or the individual's spouse.

(2) For all the months thereafter, the individual has maintained coverage either under hospital insurance or a GHP or LGHP.

(d)Special rule: Additional SEPs.

(1) Generally, if an individual fails to enroll during any available SEP, he or she is not entitled to any additional SEPs.

(2) However, if an individual fails to enroll during a SEP, because coverage under the same or a different GHP or LGHP was restored before the end of that particular SEP, that failure to enroll does not preclude additional SEPs.

(e)Effective date of coverage.

(1) If the individual enrolls in a month during any part of which he or she is covered under a GHP or LGHP on the basis of current employment status, or in the first full month when no longer so covered, coverage begins on the first day of the month of enrollment or, at the individual's option, on the first day of any of the three following months.

(2) If the individual enrolls in any month of the SEP other than the months specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, coverage begins on the first day of the month following the month of enrollment.

[61 FR 40346, Aug. 2, 1996]