Loebsack, Bustos Fight to Protect Medicare Open Enrollment During Government Shutdown Print
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 14:46

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Today Across Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) joined together to ensure that Medicare open enrollment is not affected by the current reckless and irresponsible government shutdown. In a joint letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, Loebsack and Bustos urged her to make sure that any shutdown related delays or problems surrounding Medicare open enrollment are swiftly addressed.

Medicare open enrollment is the period during which seniors can make changes to their Medicare plan. Starting today through December 7th, seniors can sign up for 2014 coverage or make changes to their Medicare plan.    

A copy of the Loebsack-Bustos letter is below and HERE.


October 15, 2013


Marilyn Tavenner


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Department of Health and Human Services

Room 314G

200 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC  20201


Dear Administrator Tavenner:

We write today to urge you to ensure that seniors across our regions of Illinois and Iowa are able to access the resources that they need to make informed decisions during this year’s Medicare open enrollment period.

The open enrollment period is an important time for seniors.  The ability to switch Medicare Advantage plans or move between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare gives seniors flexibility and confidence that Medicare is working for them.  We understand that the government shutdown has resulted in employee furloughs at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  However, the open enrollment period is without a doubt an essential duty, and we stand ready to work with you to ensure that this critical service for seniors moves forward without a hitch despite the reckless politics that we are seeing in Washington.

As seniors explore their options, it is critical that all resources and assistance provided by CMS are as readily accessible as they have been in prior years.  To protect seniors, we urge you to act swiftly if any problems stemming from the government shutdown arise during the open enrollment period.  Should the need arise, we ask you to consider ways to protect seniors such as an extension of the open enrollment period.  We stand ready to work with you to guarantee a seamless open enrollment period.



Cheri Bustos                         Dave Loebsack

Member of Congress           Member of Congress


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