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So you’ve got a Medicare Supplement plan, and you’ve heard about a different one. “Can I change Medicare Supplement plans anytime?” you might be asking. The answer is “Maybe” – it depends on your situation.
As you may know, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans are different from Medicare plans. They’re designed to supplement your Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage by paying for certain out-of-pocket costs. For example, a Medicare Supplement plan may pay your coinsurance or copayments from Medicare Part A and Part B. Some Medicare Supplement plans may cover Part A and/or Part B deductibles, and more.
You might be happy with your current Medicare Supplement plan. But there are some situations where you might want to change plans. Here are a few examples:
Every standardized Medicare Supplement plan with the same lettered name has the same basic benefits no matter where you buy the plan. For example, every Medicare Supplement Plan A (not to be confused with Medicare Part A) includes the same basic benefits. So, if you have Medicare Supplement Plan A (or any letter), and you see a plan of the same name being sold by a different insurance company, the basic benefits will be the same. Please note that Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have differently standardized plans.
One interesting feature of Medicare Supplement plans is that you can apply for a plan anytime – you only need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. However, a plan doesn’t have to accept your application, unless you have guaranteed-issue rights.
The same is true if you want to change Medicare Supplement plans.
Guaranteed-issue rights mean that when you apply for a Medicare Supplement plan – whether you’re changing plans or buying one for the first time – you can’t be turned down if:
Suppose you have a Medicare Supplement plan, and you want to switch plans outside the OEP described above. In most cases the insurance company can review your medical records and consider your health condition. They can charge you a higher premium or even refuse to accept you as a member.
Certain situations might give you guaranteed-issue rights to change Medicare Supplement plans. There are several situations when you might have guaranteed-issue rights. Here are a few of them:
Remember, this list is just a few examples. If you want to change Medicare Supplement plans, you can call the insurance company and ask.
Did you know that you may get a “free look period” when you change Medicare Supplement plans? When you switch from one Medicare Supplement plan to another, you typically get 30 days to decide if you want to keep it.
This 30-day free look period starts when you get your new Medicare Supplement plan. You’ll need to pay the premiums for both your new plan and your old plan for one month.
To change Medicare Supplement plans, call the insurance company that’s selling the plan you want. If they accept your application, call your current Medicare Supplement insurance company and ask how to end your coverage with your current plan.
If you’d like some help changing Medicare Supplement plans, feel free to contact a licensed eHealth insurance agent at the phone number below.
Want to browse Medicare Supplement plans to review their basic benefits and see which one may be a good fit for you? Just enter your ZIP code in the box on this page to get started.
The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these eHealth web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.