Medigap Open Enrollment Periods
When is the best time to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy?
Your best time to buy a Medicare Supplement policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment period. This period lasts for 6 months and starts on the first day of the month that you turn 65 or older and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. There are some states that have additional Open Enrollment Periods including those for people that are under 65.
During an Open Enrollment Period, an insurance company cannot us medical underwriting. That means the insurance company can’t do any of the following because of your health problems:
- Refuse to sell you any Medigap policy it offers
- Charge you more for a Medicare Supplement policy than they charge someone without any health problems
- Make you wait for your coverage to start
Why is it important to purchase a Medigap policy when you’re first eligible?
When you first become eligible, you have the right to purchase any Medigap policy offered in your state. Also, you generally get better prices and more choices among policies. It’s VERY IMPORTANT to understand your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
Medicare supplement insurance companies are generally allowed to use medical underwriting to decide if they should accept your application and how much to charge you for the Medicare supplement policy.
However, if you purchase your policy during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you can buy any Medicare supplement policy the company sells, even if you’re having health problems, for the same price as people with good health.
IMPORTANT: If you apply for Medigap coverage AFTER your Open Enrollment Period, there is NO guarantee that an insurance company will offer you a Medigap policy if you don’t meet the medical under writing requirements.
It’s also important to know that your Medigap rights may depend on when you decide to enroll in Medicare Part B. If you’re 65 or older, your Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins when you first enroll in Part B and it can’t be changed or repeated.
In most cases, it makes sense to begin Part B and purchase a Medigap policy when you’re first eligible for Medicare. The reason why is because you might otherwise have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty and you might miss your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
Want more information on Medigap Open Enrollment Periods? Our Mentors can help you with that!
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