Medicare Supplement Insurance Enrollment

After you enroll in Original Medicare, you may be interested in adding additional coverage to your plan. Your options include Medicare Advantage, Medicare prescription drug coverage, or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).

Medigap coverage is designed to help pay out-of-pocket costs for Original Medicare costs.

Medigap Open Enrollment Period

Under federal law, your Medigap open enrollment period begins when you are 65 or older and have an active enrollment in Medicare Part B. This period is considered the best time to enroll in a Medigap policy because it offers enrollees the most flexibility.

During the open enrollment period, private insurance companies are required to sell you a Medigap policy at the best possible rate, regardless of your health status. As long as you are within the open enrollment period, insurance providers cannot deny you Medigap coverage.

Guaranteed Issue Rights

Individuals that have missed their open enrollment period may be eligible for a guaranteed issue right. The guaranteed issue right is available for 63 days after people age 65 or older lose or end certain kinds of health care coverage.

You may have a guaranteed issue right if:

  • You lost a group health plan that covered your Medicare cost-sharing
  • Within 12 months, you joined a Medicare Advantage plan and later disenrolled
  • Your previous Medigap policy, Medicare Advantage Plan, or Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plan stops coverage or commits fraud

Like the open enrollment period, a guaranteed issue right forces Medigap providers to sell you a Medigap policy at the best available rate, regardless of your health status. They are also not allowed to impose a waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Enrolling In Medigap Outside Of Enrollment Periods

Circumstances may prevent you from enrolling in a Medigap policy during the protected enrollment periods. Outside of the enrollment periods, companies have the right to deny coverage or impose certain medical requirements in your policy. You may also be subject to higher premiums or waiting periods before your Medigap plan will offer benefits for pre-existing medical conditions.

Cancelling Your Medigap Policy

Medigap has a flexible cancellation policy. You have the right to try out your Medigap policy for 30 days and cancel it within that timeframe to receive a full refund. Though, depending on timing and your location, you may be unable to enroll in a new Medigap plan or subject to higher premiums based on your health status.

If you have questions about Medicare or financial planning, you can trust Grutz Financial to provide you with the answers you are looking for. Contact us now for more information.

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