Can I Change My Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Anytime?

With up to 10 standardized Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans available in most states, you may wonder if you can change your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan at any time.

You can typically change your Medigap plan at any time. But if you do consider changing plans, you should try to switch during your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

Learn more about your Medigap Open Enrollment Period and find out about other times you can switch Medigap plans when you have a guaranteed-issue right.

Want to change Medigap plans? A licensed insurance agent can help.

Visit MedicareSupplement.com

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Is there an Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement plans?

The best time to change your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP).

Your Medigap OEP is a six month period that begins the day you are at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B.

During your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, Medicare Supplement Insurance companies can’t use medical underwriting to determine your monthly plan premium amounts. This means that companies can’t deny you a plan or charge you more due to your health.

Can you buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan any other time?

You can change Medigap plans at any time outside of your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. However, insurance companies can use medical underwriting to charge you higher premiums or deny you coverage unless you qualify for what’s called a guaranteed issue right.

A guaranteed issue right is a circumstance or situation you may experience during which Medicare Supplement Insurance companies can’t use underwriting and must offer you a standard rate that is equal to that of all new members with the same rights.

They can also not deny you coverage and you will not have to endure a waiting period for your coverage to begin, even with a pre-existing condition.  

Generally speaking, once your Medigap Open Enrollment Period ends, so do your guaranteed issue rights. But there are some circumstances in which you can be granted guaranteed issue rights outside of your Medigap OEP and switch Medigap plans with no underwriting.

Some of the circumstances that may qualify you for a guaranteed issue right include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Your current Medigap plan is provided by an employer and is being taken away.

  • The insurance company that supplied your Medigap plan went bankrupt, broke the law or misled you about the policy.

  • You’re enrolled in a Medicare Select plan and you move out of the plan’s service area or the insurance company moves out of your area.

You may qualify for a guaranteed issue right for other reasons. A licensed insurance agent can help you find out if you qualify to change your Medicare Supplement plan without medical underwriting.

What is the Medigap free look period?

When changing Medigap plans, you’ll sometimes have an option of exercising a free look period.

A free look period is a 30-day period during which you can try out a new plan to decide if you wish to keep it. You will remain enrolled in your previous plan during this time, in case you decide not to keep the new plan.

You must pay your premiums for both plans during this period.

If at the end of the free look period you decide you do not wish to keep the new plan, you are free to leave that plan and return to your previous plan under no penalty.

Change your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan

A licensed insurance agent can help you determine if you qualify for a guaranteed-issue right. They can also help you compare Medigap plans available where you live so that you can find a plan that works for your needs.

Find out if you can change your Medigap plan.

Visit MedicareSupplement.com

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