How Do I Change My Medicare Supplement Insurance Company
The process of changing your Medicare Supplement company is straight-forward. Changing your Medicare Supplement company begins with applying to the carrier you would like to have. The rules on applying vary by state, but you will most likely need to undergo a process called medical underwriting. You dont need an exam for this process, but you will typically need to answer questions over the phone about your health. Your agent will help find you a carrier that will be likely to accept you and help you submit your application. The process is low-risk because you can keep your current coverage in place even if you are declined by the new carrier.
How To Cancel Your 2022 Insurance Plan Without Replacing It
- If you’ll be automatically enrolled for 2022:Log in, select your 2021 application, select “My Plans & Programs,” then select “Stop Coverage for 2021.” Your coverage will be canceled for 2021 and 2022.
- If you wont be automatically enrolled:Log in and select your 2022 application. Choose “My Plans & Programs,” and click the red “End All Coverage” button.
When Can I Change My Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Looking to change your Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, insurance plan? Here are some important dates and qualifications to be aware of first.
Everyday Health may earn a portion of revenue from purchases of featured products.
If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, also known as a Medigap plan, and want to change to a different plan, you can do so at any time. If you do so, you may face higher premiums or limited options, depending on your preexisting health conditions.
Ultimately, the best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during your Open Enrollment Period, which is the seven-month time frame before and after you first become eligible for Medicare at age 65. You may find some exceptions to this, though.
Read Also: Are You Required To Get Medicare At 65
When Can I Switch My Medicare Supplement Plan
Because of federal law, all people searching for a Medicare Supplement plan have a guaranteed shopping period called your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. You qualify for Open Enrollment during the first six months that youre enrolled in Medicare Part B, and are 65 or older. During this time, if you qualify, your carrier might cover your pre-existing conditions as of your effective date. This is the best time to purchase your Medicare Supplement plan, as youll typically get the best coverage for the lowest cost.
During this period, you can switch to any plan that youd like, without consequence. This is ideal if youre trying to find the perfect fit for your needs. Additionally, you wont have to undergo medical underwriting during this time, making these plans more accessible to you.
Why Would You Want To Change Your Medicare Supplement Plan
You might want to join a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Advantage plans are popular and offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare.
However, Medicare Advantage plans can’t work with Medicare Supplement plans. So if you want a Medicare Advantage plan, you need to cancel your Medicare Supplement plan.
You have an older type of Medicare Supplement plan, and you want a newer one.
Perhaps you’re paying for benefits that you no longer need or you want more benefits than what your older Medigap policy provides. Or, you may want a policy that costs less or you simply want to change insurance companies.
You’ve had your Medicare Supplement policy for more than six months and you have pre-existing conditions.
In this case, the insurance company can’t write pre-existing conditions into your new policy, nor can they include wait times, elimination periods, or probationary periods in your new Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
You’re moving and won’t be in the same state.
You will be able to keep your current Medicare Supplement policy no matter where you live if you still have Original Medicare. But, if you want to switch to a new Medicare Supplement plan, check with either your new insurance company or your current one to see if they’ll provide you a different policy when you move out of state.
Also Check: Does Medicare Cover Depends For Incontinence
What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medigap is sold by private insurance companies. You must be enrolled in both Parts A and B to be eligible for a policy. Its not an option if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, and coverage is for one person only . Typically, Medigap is applied to Medicare-covered services as secondary coverage.
Medigap policies charge a premium which varies depending on which plan type you get.
Medigap policies vary by 10 plan types. Each is assigned a letter and coverage varies, depending on which type you get. In general, most Medigap policies fully or partially cover:
- Part A and B copayments and coinsurance
- Hospice care copays
- Some or all of the Part A deductible
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
Only some Medigap policies may cover:
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Emergency health care coverage while youre traveling internationally
- In some states, preventative vision, dental and hearing coverage may be available for an additional cost or included.
Original Medicare doesnt have out-of-pocket maximumsmeaning, theres no limit to how high your annual expenses can go. Medigap plans K and L limit your annual out-of-pocket costs in 2022 to $6,620 and $3,310, respectively.
Special Enrollment Period If Youre In An Area Affected By Certain Natural Disasters
The federal government allows a special enrollment period, after the end of the general enrollment period, Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, or other individual special enrollment period , for people who live in an area thats experienced a FEMA-declared major disaster or emergency.
In general, if, because of the disaster, you were unable to complete your enrollment during the window that was originally available to you , youll have additional time to complete your enrollment. Your disaster-related enrollment window will continue for four months after the start of the FEMA-declared emergency period.
Hurricane season overlaps with the Medicare general enrollment window in the fall, which often leads to some areas having additional time to enroll after December 7. There are also FEMA-declared disaster areas due to other situations each year, such as wildfires, tornadoes, and floods.
Its important to understand, however, that a special enrollment period is only allowed if the timing of the disaster prevented you from enrolling during the scheduled enrollment window or special enrollment period. So for example, although there were historic tornadoes in December 21 that caused widespread destruction across several states, they occurred on December 10, which was after the end of the open enrollment period in the fall of 2021. So they did not trigger a special enrollment period for most people .
You May Like: Is The Medicare Helpline Legit
First What Is A Medicare Supplement Plan
Those who are eligible for Medicare often purchase Medicare Supplement plans to cover the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t. A Medicare Supplement plan, sometimes called Medigap insurance, fills the “gaps” that exist in Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies. They can help pay for things like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. This makes sense if you’re on a budget, and you don’t want to be surprised by medical bills that you can’t afford.
When Can I Change Medicare Supplementinsurance Plans
One interesting feature of Medicare Supplement insurance 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 doesnt have to accept your application, unless you have guaranteed-issue rights.
The same is true if you want to change Medicare Supplement insurance plans.
Guaranteed-issue rights mean that when you apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan whether youre changing plans or buying one for the first time you cant be turned down if:
- Youre enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and
- Youre within your 6-month Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period . This time span starts the month youre both age 65 or older, and enrolled in Part B, or
- You have guaranteed-issue rights after your OEP, for a different reason .
Read Also: What Is My Medicare Number Provider
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is for current Medicare Advantage plan members. It runs from January 1 to March 31. During this time, Medicare Advantage plan members can revisit their plan choices and choose to make coverage changes.
You can do the following during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period:
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare .
- Enroll in a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan , if you go back to Original Medicare.
And similar to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, if you choose to return to Original Medicare, you are now able to apply for a Medicare supplement insurance plan, though you are not guaranteed coverage and could face higher costs. Please note that you can apply for a Medicare supplement plan at any time during the year and aren’t limited to the enrollment periods described above.*
See The Situations Below On Switching Medigap Policies
- I have an older Medigap policy.
If you have an older Medigap policy, you don’t have to switch.
If you buy a new Medigap policy, you have to give up your old policy . Once you cancel the policy, you can’t get it back, and it can no longer be sold because it isn’t a standardized policy.
If you bought your policy before 2010, it may offer coverage that isn’t available in a newer policy. If you bought your policy before 1992, your policy:
- Might not be a guaranteed renewable policy
- May have a bigger premium increase than newer, standardized Medigap policies currently being sold
- I’ve had my old Medigap policy for less than 6 months & have a pre-existing condition.
The Medigap insurance company may be able to make you wait up to 6 months for coverage of pre-existing conditions. The number of months you’ve had your current Medigap policy must be subtracted from the time you must wait before your new Medigap policy covers your pre-existing condition.
- I’ve had my old Medigap policy for 6 months or more and it had the same benefits as my new policy.
The new insurance company can’t exclude your
Recommended Reading: How Do I Get A Second Opinion With Medicare
Change Medicare Plans During Special Election Period
Medicare has certain provisions to help you deal with unexpected happenings. If you go through certain special circumstances, you may be able to change Medicare plans during Special Election Periods. These events may include, but arent limited to:
moving to a new address losing your current coverage qualifying for other coverage such as Medicaid, Employer Group Coverage and State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program becoming qualified for Extra Help to pay for Medicare Part D coverage through the Social Security Administration
The dates and types of changes you can make vary according to the Special Election Period.
Can I Drop Medigap If I Have A Medicare Advantage Plan
You should drop your Medigap plan if you enroll into a Medicare Advantage plan since you cannot use Medigap benefits while enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. It is illegal for companies to try to sell you Medigap when you are already enrolled into a Medicare Advantage plan.
However, if you already have a Medigap plan, you have the right to hang on to it if you think you may want to return to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, in the future. Keep in mind that you will still have to pay the Medigap premium, even though Medigap does not cover any out-of-pocket expenses when youre enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Your Medigap policy cannot be used to pay for premiums, copayments, or deductibles for your Medicare Advantage plan.
Check with your states insurance website or Medigap insurers in your area to see if guaranteed-issue Medigap plans are available. If chances are good that you can get guaranteed issue later, then it might not be worth keeping your current Medigap insurance and paying the monthly premium without being able to use the plans benefits.
Do you have more questions? Connect with any of our licensed insurance agents to answer your Medicare questions or discuss a Medicare plan option that may be right for you.
Find Plans in your area instantly!
Don’t Miss: How To Get A Wheelchair From Medicare
When Can You Change Your Medicare Supplement Plan
Already enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan but want to know how and when you can change it? Read our guide to learn more about this process with tips you should be aware of.
Each Medicare plan and insurance product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team in conjunction with our partners at Medicare Expert USA. If you make a purchase using the links included, Health.com may be compensated.
There are certain restrictions when it comes to changing Medicare Supplement plans.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to change your Medicare Supplement plan.
Medigap Open Enrollment is the best time to change plans.
You don’t have to wait to change policies if you are buying your very first Medicare Supplement plan.
New rules took effect on January 1st, 2020 that you should be aware of.
There may be times when you want to change your Medicare Supplement plan. Perhaps you want a less expensive policy, or you need more benefits. But you should know that there are certain restrictions on changing Medicare Supplement plans. In this guide, we will highlight key information and the dates you need to know in order to choose the right option for you.
How To Get Help Changing Your Medicare Supplement Policy
Many people think Medicare is free. But, there are many costs you need to understand. This is why our recommendation is Medigap coverage.
Changing Medicare Supplement insurance can be more complicated than signing up for the first time. At MedicareFAQ, we want to make sure you get the coverage thats right for you, at the best possible price.
The best plan for your neighbor may not be the best plan for you, let us help you get the coverage you deserve at a price you can afford.
Well give you quotes, answer questions, and help you navigate the application process.
Contact us today for a free quote by calling the number you see above. Our team of licensed insurance agents in your state are experts when it comes to Medicare guidelines and best practices.
We know your time is valuable if you prefer to compare rates online then fill out our online rate form.
- Was this article helpful ?
Recommended Reading: Can I Transfer My Medicare To Another State
When Can You Switch Your Medigap Policy
The first time during which you can switch your Medigap policy without worrying about being rejected for coverage is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, a six-month period when you are 65 or older and have just enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you can switch to another plan The company cannot deny the application or exclude any preexisting conditions or impose waiting periods, elimination or probationary periods into your new policy.
What Is The Deadline For Changing Medicare Plans
With people being able to change their plans at any time, there aren’t any deadlines on when they must switch by, but there are some restrictions.
One restriction is that changing medical supplement plans doesn’t cover people who may have guaranteed issues again.
This impacts people with pre-existing conditions, which could see the companies deny a person coverage.
People should be careful when changing medical insurance plans to avoid a switchover gap, which could leave them uncovered for a brief period
The general rule of thumb is ensuring that you have an alternative plan which has started a couple of days before your previous plan officially expires.
This prevents any gaps in coverage and guards against random instances of misfortune which really can happen at any minute of any day.
Read Also: Is Dexcom G6 Cgm Covered By Medicare
Is There A Deadline For Changing My Medicare Supplement
The short answer is no. Once you are enrolled in a Medicare supplement plan, you can change that plan any time of year. However, most people only change when there is a motive to do so. Usually, this occurs in the form of a rate increase. Nearly all Medicare supplements will have a rate increase each year on your policy anniversary.
The reason for this is twofold. First, Medicare often increases the Part A deductible and the skilled nursing coinsurance and several other items that your supplement pays for you. So the supplement rates go up to cover this.
Second, there is ordinary healthcare inflation, which means that the cost of everything your Medicare supplement covers is going up all the time.
Here at Boomer Benefits we shop our clients policies every year to see if there is any chance to gain lower premiums by changing. As long as you can pass the medical underwriting, you can change anytime you like.