One common question that we get asked frequently is “can I buy Medigap Insurance with pre-existing conditions?” The answer to this varies depending on what situation you are currently in. There are several different factors that come into play when obtaining or switching Medigap Insurance, as well as for those who are coming off a Medicare advantage plans. Rest assured even with pre-existing conditions the chances of you obtaining coverage is highly likely.
Open Enrollment Period – Come On In!
For anyone who is just turning the age of 65 and enrolling in part B Medicare, or even people under 65 who are on social security disability and qualify for part B, there is an initial open enrollment period whereby you may apply for any policy that you wish regardless of any pre-existing conditions and not be turned down for coverage. This period begins on the first day that you are eligible for part B Medicare and lasts for six months. During this time all pre-existing conditions are waived and no medical underwriting is performed when the policy is issued.
For anyone who does have pre-existing conditions and is turning the age of 65 and enrolling in Medicare, this is the best time to obtain your policy as the rates will be lower and it might be difficult or cost more to change plans later on. Again during this time period you may choose any plan from any carrier and you will be accepted.
Coming Off Employer Group
Anyone over the age of 65 who has already obtained part B Medicare but is still on their employer group Health Insurance and has pre-existing conditions can still apply for Medigap policy. These people may be eligible for what is called a guaranteed issue period of 63 days from the time their group coverage ends in which they can apply for Medigap Insurance and not be turned down for coverage regardless of preexisting conditions.
Often this depends on whether their group coverage or Medicare is primary and may vary by state. We can easily determine if you are guaranteed issue based on your current situation, or whether we need to look any different option to get you coverage.
Switching Medigap Policies or Coming off of a Medicare Advantage Plan
If you currently have a Medigap policy and you’re looking to change coverage and you are outside your open enrollment then you will have to go through medical underwriting. This simply means you must answer the questions on the individual carrier’s application and often complete a phone interview as well. Many people feel that because they’ve had some sort of health condition in the past they will be an automatic decline. This is most often not the case in fact insurance carriers realize that people over the age of 65 may have had certain health conditions. Qualifying for coverage depends on the carriers underwriting department to see if they will approve you.
Each carrier has different underwriting guidelines, therefore it is extremely important that you work with an independent agent who knows the guidelines and can help walk you through the process to see which company you would qualify for. There is no charge for an agent service so it is well worth it for you to research the best premiums on your Medigap Insurance.
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