General Enrollment Information

I live in a hurricane-affected area, and I have friends who live in a wildfire-affected area. Will we have more time to sign up for or change our Medicare coverage?

If you, your legal guardian, or a person who makes healthcare decisions on your behalf is affected by a hurricane, wildfire, or other disaster or emergency declared by a Federal, State, or local government in 2023, there is a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to sign up for Medicare if you missed your Initial Enrollment Period, without having to wait for the General Enrollment Period. You will have to demonstrate that you, your authorized representative, legal guardian, or person who makes health care decisions on your behalf lives in (or lived) in that impacted area. You can sign up on the date after an emergency or disaster is declared up to 6 months after the declaration has ended. Your Medicare coverage will begin the first day of the month following the month of enrollment.  You can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get more information. You can also get more information from the following Medicare website:

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.