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Sometimes, as your health and financial needs change, you may realize that your current Medigap coverage is no longer a good fit for you. There can be good reasons to consider changing Medicare Supplement insurance plans:
Keep in mind that the timing and circumstances of when you change plans can affect the rights you have, the costs you pay, and the plans you have available to you. If you’re thinking of changing policies, read on to learn more about the best time to make changes to your Medicare Supplement insurance coverage.
In general, the best time to enroll in or make changes to your Medicare Supplement insurance coverage is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, the six-month period that starts when you’re 65 or older and have Medicare Part B. That’s because during this time, you can join any Medicare Supplement insurance plan offered in your service area with guaranteed issue, meaning the Medigap insurance company can’t turn you down for coverage or charge you higher premiums because of pre-existing conditions*. If you join a Medigap plan during this six-month window and decide you don’t like it, you can switch to a different Medigap plan during this period with guaranteed-issue rights.
Keep in mind that once your Medigap Open Enrollment Period is over, you may have more trouble changing Medicare Supplement insurance plans, or your coverage may cost more. That’s because outside of this period, in most cases Medigap insurance companies can require medical underwriting or take your health status into consideration when reviewing your application. Your premiums may be higher if you have health problems – or you could be rejected entirely.
In a few limited situations, you may be able to enroll in a Medigap plan with guaranteed issue. For example:
Depending on the situation, you may be able to enroll in any Medigap plan offered in your state, or you may only have guaranteed-issue rights to enroll in certain policies.
If you’re thinking about changing Medigap plans, it may be a good idea to stay enrolled in your current Medicare Supplement insurance plan until you’re sure you want to keep your new policy. You’re not normally allowed to keep more than one Medigap policy at a time. However, state laws give you a 30-day “free-look period” to try out a new Medicare Supplement insurance plan, while keeping your current Medigap policy. If you decide you don’t like your new policy, you can cancel the second policy and go back to your original Medigap plan. Think of it as a trial period for your new Medicare Supplement insurance plan — without having to worry about not being able to get back your old Medigap plan if the new plan doesn’t end up working out.
Here’s how the “free-look period” works:
Do you have questions about changing Medigap plans? Feel free to contact eHealth to get your questions answered; a licensed insurance agent can help you figure out what Medigap plan options you may have available to you.
This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.
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.