Medigap Enrollment Periods
There are a few different Medigap enrollment periods. However, the important thing to know is you can enroll in Medigap at any time of the year.
Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Part D, enrollment periods for Medigap are NOT annual. The reason you would want to enroll in a Medigap plan during an enrollment period is that you won’t have to answer health questions.
First Open Enrollment Period for Medigap
The first and most crucial enrollment period for Medigap is your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
Your Medigap Open Enrollment is a 6-month period that begins the first day of the month you’re 65, and your Part B is active. This enrollment period only happens one time in your life, unless you’re collecting Social Security Disability Benefits.
Those Under 65 Get Two Medigap Open Enrollment Periods
For those under 65 collecting SSDI, you’ll be granted a second Medigap OEP when you turn 65.
Most states charge up to four times the amount in monthly premiums to those under 65. Thus, making any Medigap plan unaffordable for most that are on a limited income.
After 24 months of collecting disability benefits, you’ll be enrolled in Medicare Part A & B. Once your Part B is in effect, your first OEP to enroll in Medigap will begin.
Then, when you turn 65, a second Medigap OEP will begin. At this time, since you’ll be 65, the monthly Medigap premiums will be much more affordable.
Change in Circumstances
The other opportunity to enroll in a Medigap plan without answering health questions is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Many changes in circumstances will make you eligible for a SEP.
One change in circumstance that would make you eligible would be if you lost group coverage through no fault of your own.
If you end up enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan instead of a Medigap plan, you’ll be granted a one-time trial right the first 12-months you’re enrolled.
During these 12-months, you’ll be allowed to drop your Advantage plan and enroll in a Medigap plan with Guaranteed Issue Rights.
You Can Enroll in a Medigap Plan at ANY TIME of the Year
To reiterate, you can enroll in a Medigap plan at ANY TIME of the year. If you missed your Open Enrollment Period after your Part B came into effect, you can still join a Medigap plan. You’ll have to answer health questions and go through medical underwriting.
The Annual Enrollment Period is NOT an Open Enrollment Period for Medigap
Many people are under the false impression that the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is when they can sign up or make changes to their Medigap coverage.
The AEP is for those who want to enroll, change, or leave their Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. A lot of times, beneficiaries choose to enroll in Medigap at this time since they are disenrolling from Medicare Advantage.
However, they are caught off guard when asked to answer health questions. This is because the AEP is NOT an OEP for Medigap. You’ll have to go through medical underwriting when completing the application.
The only way around this is if you’re in your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period at the same time as the Annual Enrollment Period is happening. It’s your Medigap OEP that will get you out of answering health questions.
If You’re Unhappy with your Medigap Policy
If for any reason you’re unhappy with your Medigap policy, you’ll have 30 days to cancel the policy for a full refund.
Get Help Understanding your Medigap Open Enrollment Periods
Medicare is complicated; our job is to uncomplicate it. Our team of Medicare experts will help you understand all your enrollment periods. We’ll make sure you don’t miss out on enrolling without having to answer health questions.
Give us a call today, or use our rate comparison form to see rates in your area now.