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Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington State


Medicare beneficiaries have several options for Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap) in Washington. Washington State provides unique opportunities and resources to ensure residents have their choice of Medicare coverage.

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Below, we help you better understand how Medicare Supplement plans work in Washington and which combination of coverage would be best for you.

Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington State

The choices for Medicare Supplement plans in Washington are similar to those throughout the country. In Washington State, beneficiaries can choose from ten standardized letter plans and two high deductible options. The benefits of these Medigap plans are the same across the country, but prices vary.

The most popular Medicare Supplement plans in Washington are Medicare Supplement Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N. These plans are popular due to their high coverage and low out-of-pocket costs.

Since Medicare Supplement plans have standardized benefits across each plan letter, choosing the best carrier is essential. Carriers do not have to standardize pricing, so it is vital to research plan costs before enrolling with a carrier. Often, monthly premium costs vary significantly from one carrier to another. Hence, the importance of doing your research before enrolling.

State laws in Washington require insurance carriers to rate policies based on a community price for those over 65. This means age will not affect your Medicare Supplement plan premium. Instead, factors such as the level of coverage impact premium costs.

How to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington

There are several ways to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Washington State. The best time to enroll in Medigap plan is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period (MSOEP) at age 65 or when you first become eligible for Medicare.

You can enroll in a Medigap plan during this time without answering underwriting health questions. For many, the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period only happens once in a lifetime, so it is important to utilize this enrollment period while you are in it.

If you miss your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, you are still eligible to enroll in a Medigap plan whenever you would like. However, you will need to pass medical underwriting.

Once you enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Washington, you have special guaranteed issue right rules that are not standard throughout the county.

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Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue Rights in Washington

Washington allows Medicare beneficiaries special privileges after they enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. This includes a year-round guaranteed issue right that enables beneficiaries to switch to equal or lesser benefit plans.

If you wish to change Medigap plans, you can do so without going through medical underwriting. However, this perk is only available to those already enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan. Washington does not allow beneficiaries without a Medigap plan to join a plan without underwriting unless they are in their MSOEP.

Lastly, you must be on your current plan for at least 90 days to use this benefit. Once the 90 days are complete, you can switch Medicare Supplement plans.

Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington

The best Medicare Supplement plan in Washington is dependent on the policyholder who will utilize the benefits. Since every person has a different health background, the necessary benefits for each person vary.

For example, if Sally goes to the doctor twice a month for pain injections and Karen visits the doctor once a year for her annual wellness check, the two women would not need the same benefits. Therefore, the best Medigap plan for Sally would likely not be the best for Karen.

Still, the best plan for most beneficiaries can be found in Medicare Supplement Plan N, Plan G, or Plan F. These plans are the most popular because of their comprehensive coverage and relatively low monthly premiums. One of these three plans can fit almost everyone’s healthcare needs.

Medigap Plans Available to Those Under 65 in Washington

If you become eligible for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B before turning 65 due to disability, you might question which Medicare policy is best for you. Some states require carriers to offer Medigap plans to disabled individuals under 65. But, Washington State does not require Medicare Supplement plan carriers to offer Medigap to those under 65. Yet, some carriers still make this coverage available.

Even if a carrier offers Medigap to beneficiaries under 65 in your area, the premium cost may be higher due to your age and disability status. Premiums for beneficiaries under age 65 are likely to be higher than those who age into the program. So, many Medicare recipients under 65 enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan until they turn 65 and are eligible for community-rated Medicare Supplement premiums.

Additional Medicare Coverage Options in Washington

In addition to Medicare Supplement plans, Washington also offers an array of additional benefits. If you are not looking for the comprehensive coverage of a Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Advantage plans are also available.

Additionally, Medicare Part D plans are available to help cover the cost of prescription drugs. If you are taking prescription drugs, having a Medicare Part D plan will help cover your financial burden.

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FAQs

Are Medigap plans available in Washington State?
Yes, you can enroll in Medigap Plans A through N in Washington.
Does Washington allow you to change Medicare Supplement plans?
After 90 days on your current Medigap plan, you can change plans in Washington State without needing to go through medical underwriting or having to answer health questions. Washington is one of three states offering this ability.
When should I buy Medigap in Washington State?
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is right after enrolling in Medicare Part B. During this time, you are in your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period.
Is there a network with a Washington State Medigap plan?
No. Medigap does not involve doctor networks in Washington or any state.
Does the Washington State Health Exchange offer Medicare Supplement plans?
No, Medicare is not part of the state’s health exchange.
How do I apply for Medicare in Washington State?
Applying for Medicare is the same in all states. You do this through the Social Security office online, over the phone, or in person.

How to Apply for Medicare in Washington

Applying for a Medicare Supplement plan in Washington State does not have to be complicated. Having a knowledgeable licensed Medicare agent by your side can make a difference when choosing your coverage.

At MedicareFAQ, our agents are licensed in all 50 states and have access to all Medicare Supplement plans and carriers in your area. Thus, we are able to compare rates for multiple plans simultaneously. This is convenient for the beneficiary and helps out agents understand your needs and wants.

Call us at the number on the screen or fill out an online rate form to compare rates side by side. When you enroll through one of our agents, you receive unlimited access to our client care team who will help you with any bump along the road.

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Sources:

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Medicare Supplement Plans, Washington Insurance . Accessed April 2022.
    https://www.insurance.wa.gov/medigap-medicare-supplement-plans
  2. What is Medigap, Medicare. Accessed April 2022.
    https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

2 thoughts on “Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington State

  1. Hi,
    I have United Healthcare Medigap plan N. I know the cost for Jan – May 2022. But the billing coupons end at May. How will I know the cost for the rest of 2022?

    1. Hi Susan – as it gets closer to May, look out for correspondence from UHC. They will notify you if your rate goes up.

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