While it looks like there may be a little progress being made in Washington between the Left and the Right, the “Government Shutdown” continues. No one likes uncertainty, so I thought today would be beneficial to summarize how the government shutdown is affecting Medicare beneficiaries.
While Medicare as a whole is largely unaffected by the bickering in Washington, D.C., it appears some individuals with Medicare could be affected. The good news is:
- Healthcare will be available for Medicare recipients;
- Veteran Affairs (VA) Hospitals will remain open;
- Social Security recipients will continue to receive benefits; and
- Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D enrollment will begin October 15th, as scheduled.
However, with the good news there is a bit of bad news, including:
- Potential delays processing Medicare and Social Security applications;
- The Annual Influenza Program (flu shots through Medicare) is delayed;
- Public health programs and services cancelled; and
- Government websites will not be updated, including Medicare.gov.
If you are just now becoming eligible for Medicare, you are among those hardest hit by the shutdown. Expect delays, even if the government reopens by the end of the month.