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How Government Shutdowns Affect Medicare

The most recent government shutdown occurred between December 22nd, 2018 and ended on January 25th, 2019. Approximately 800,000 Federal employees, contractors, and other workers around the country were expected to work without pay, or were considered non-essential and furloughed until a government budget agreement could be reached.

People who rely on programs like Medicare services might wonder what happens to their health insurance coverage if the government shuts down. Fortunately for recipients, Medicare is considered a mandatory program and will remain functional even if the government shuts down.

Medicare 2019

The Federal Medicare program remains funded at the Federal level until September 30, 2019. If a longer government shutdown were to occur, there might be a slowing of services. However, Medicare benefits would still be available to those who qualify for the program and who are already receiving Medicare benefits. A longer shutdown could mean delays in Medicare recertification for the private insurance companies that offer Medicare plans to qualified individuals around the country.

During this recent government shutdown, discretionary programs were partially or fully closed until there was a budget agreement made that continued the funding for those departments and services. Since Medicare 2019 is considered to be a mandatory program, it has continued without any disruption. For Medicare, there will always be money allocated towards it in the Federal budget to ensure its continuous operation.

Medicare and Government Shutdowns

However, there are some interruptions to Medicare services that could occur during a government shutdown. One of those interruptions is a delay in reimbursements, caused by the lack of Federal employees who are working through Medicare insurance claims. Additionally, because of a potential lack of staffing, new Medicare enrollment applications may take longer to be processed.

Unless the government has closed the United States Postal Service because of a shutdown, individuals who are enrolled in Medicare can still expect to receive their health insurance checks and bills through the mail.

To learn more about how government shutdowns affect Medicare services, contact the professionals at at 1-844-374-1950. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.