If you’re thinking of changing Medicare Supplement plans, there’s a few things you should know first.
Those enrolled may be thinking of changing to a different plan to reduce the monthly premiums or take advantage of different benefits.
You can always change your plan. Recipients are never locked in for a particular amount of time. But if you do change it, you could face some restrictions that didn’t apply when you originally signed up.
Changing Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plans are private insurance plans.
They supplement Medicare Parts A and B by paying costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
Policies have a six-month Open Enrollment Period. This period begins the month after a beneficiary turns 65 and signed up for Original Medicare Part B.
During this time, you have a guaranteed right to enroll in any one of the 10 standardized plans.
An insurance company can’t turn you down or charge you more if you have a pre-existing health condition.
As a Medicare beneficiary, you can change at any time. As a result, there’s no guarantee an application will be accepted if switched outside the designated OEP.
An application may be “medically underwritten.” This means the insurance company will use the applicants age and health history to decide if they will cover them, and what the premiums will cost. Therefor, a new policy may cost more than your old one.
Guaranteed Issue Right
When you enroll during your OEP, you have “guaranteed issue right” when changing Medicare Supplement policies.
The insurance company must issue you a policy and can’t charge more based on your age or health conditions. You might have guaranteed issue rights if:
- The insurance company for your current Medicare SELECT plan has left your service area, or you move out of the plan’s service area.
- You have Original Medicare and supplemental coverage through an employer group health plan, and that coverage is ending.
- Your current insurance company went bankrupt, or your coverage ends through no fault of your own.
- Your current insurer misled you or broke the law.
- You signed up for Medicare Advantage and within a year you decide you want to enroll in – or switch back to — Original Medicare with a Medigap policy.
Free Look Period
Medigap plans come with a 30-day “free look” period. You can keep your old plan for 30 days after your new one starts. If you decide you liked the old one better, you can switch back and cancel the new one.
To take advantage of this, you will have to pay premiums for both plans for one month. If you change your mind after the free look period, you will have to reapply and meet medical underwriting guidelines.
It’s important to note, beneficiaries who had an older Medigap plan that is no longer offered won’t be able to go back to their old plan.
Deadline for Changing Medicare Supplement Plans
There is no deadline, the only restrictions on changing Medicare Supplement insurance plans is that the applicant may not be granted guarantee issue again.
This is extremely important to those with pre existing conditions. If the carrier requires you to undergo the medical underwriting process, you could be denied coverage and not be able to get it back.
Click or Call to Change your Medicare Supplement Policy
Changing Medicare Supplement insurance can be more complicated than signing up the first time. At MedicareFAQ, we want to make sure you get the coverage that’s right for you, at the best possible price.
We’ll give you quotes, answer questions, and help you navigate the application process. Contact us today for a free quote by calling the number you see above.
We know your time is valuable, if you prefer to compare rates online then please click here to be brought to our rate form.