Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap Insurance, is a type of insurance you can buy from some private medical insurance agencies to help pay for medical treatment that is not covered by your regular Medicare plan. Medigap is available for seniors’ age sixty- five years or older who are enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Open Enrollment Period
Open enrollment is a six month period of time that starts the same month you turn 65 and will allow you to enroll in a plan with a private insurance agency whether you already have existing medical problems or not. After which, enrollment will no longer be guaranteed. It is always best to sign up for this insurance during the first six months that you are 65 years of age. The period begins from the effective date of Medicare Part B, therefore if you are still working and opt-out of Part B initially upon turning 65 due to having employer coverage, you will still benefit from this six month period when you do decide to enroll in Part B.
This initial enrollment period is only one time. Therefore if you do have pre-existing medical conditions it is extremely important that you research all of your Medigap options at this time. Working with an experienced, independent agent will save you a great deal of time.
What is a Guaranteed Issue Right?
A Guaranteed Issue Right will guarantee that you can get a policy if one of the following things happens:
- You are coming off of your employer’s Insurance coverage
- If Medicare is your primary Insurance provider
- If you are going to lose your Medicaid coverage
- If you have already lost your Medicaid Coverage OR
- If you are moving out of a Medicare Advantage Program area
Sometimes you will be able to able to apply and be accepted for one of these plans throughout the year without being required to have a Guaranteed Issue Right or during your Open Enrollment time period. Trying to get coverage outside of your Open Enrollment time or when you do not have a Guaranteed Issue right might prove to be fairly difficult if you already have a pre- existing medical problem.
That being said, all insurance carriers each have different underwriting guidelines. So while you might be declined with one particular company due to a pre-existing health condition, another company might consider you. There might be an additional charge depending on the company, so be sure to contact us and we can easily see who you might qualify for.
Changing Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Anyone already on an existing Medigap plan may apply for a different plan or carrier at any time throughout the year. These policies are month-to-month and are not bound by any enrollment period when it comes to changing policies. Therefore if you do get a rate increase and would like to switch you can simply apply at any time with another carrier, however you will have to go through medical underwriting.
This helps out a great number of people in terms of saving money, as if you have been with a carrier for more than 2-3 years it’s highly likely that there could be a better rate with a different company for the exact same coverage.
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