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Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

 

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment is a one-time window during which you can enroll in any Medicare Supplement policy. You will not have to answer any medical questions. The Medicare Supplement insurance companies cannot turn you down during your personal Medicare Supplement Enrollment Period.

This period will only last 6 months; therefore, make sure not to miss it unless you have other creditable coverage. Missing this Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period (OEP) may have lifelong consequences in the form of higher premiums and underwriting requirements.

So, if you don’t take advantage of your Medicare Supplement (Medigap)  Open Enrollment window, you could find later on that you can’t medically qualify for a policy.

Unfortunately, federal law does not require Medigap insurance carriers to accept you except in certain situations. These policies are optional supplemental coverage so carriers can accept or decline you once your one-time OEP ends.

It is important to know, your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is not the same as the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period that happens each fall, which is a common source of confusion.

Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement Plans

  • Only occurs once for most people. It is not annual.

  • It lasts for six months and then it is gone.

  • Once gone, you must answer health questions to change plans in most states.

  • People on Medicare (under age 65) will get a rare second Open Enrollment for a Medicare Supplement later when they turn 65.

How long is someone’s personal Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment window?

Open Enrollment dates for Medicare Supplements vary for each person. For this, it is best to enroll during your personal Medicare Supplement (Medigap)  OEP.

Your personal Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period begins on the first day that your Part B becomes effective. For example, if your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage starts on June 1st, then your personal enrollment period lasts for exactly 6 months and ends on November 30th.

 

For most people, this occurs at age 65 when they age into Medicare. However, some people delay enrollment into Part B while they are still working. Later when they retire and enroll in Part B, they will activate their Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment.

Some people qualify for Medicare early due to disability. These people will get an initial six-month Open Enrollment Period starting with the Part B effective date.

However, remember that Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible, such as Medigap Plan C and Plan F, are only available to those who became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.

Applying for a Medicare Supplement Before turning 65

Also, note that if you have applied for Medicare early and you already know your Medicare claim number, you can submit your Medigap application well in advance of your Part B effective date.

The insurance company will still treat it as your Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Open Enrollment and process it with no health questions asked. Many people choose to lock in their Medigap plan several months in advance of their birthday month. There’s no need to wait until you turn 65.

Once you have applied for Medicare and receive your Medicare ID card in the mail, you can contact us to sign up for your Medigap plan. It can go into effect on the same day that your Medicare Part B starts.

You can apply for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) at any time of the year. However, in most states, you must answer health questions on your application and go through medical underwriting. The underwriter can decline you for health reasons unless you are protected by your one-time Open Enrollment window or a guaranteed issue circumstance.

Why it is important to purchase your Medicare Supplement during your Open Enrollment window?

The timing of your Medicare Supplement (Medigap) enrollment greatly affects your available options and your ability to get coverage.

The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is the only period you will ever have during which you can enroll in ANY Medicare Supplement plan. If you enroll during this period, you can choose any Medicare Supplement plan – A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, or N.

The Medicare Supplements applications generally have a couple of pages of medical questions for each person to answer. However, when you enroll within your 6-month window, you can skip all the health questions on the application. It doesn’t matter if you are healthy or sickly. The insurance company must accept your application and issue you the coverage when you apply during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment.

Once your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment window ends, the insurance company can then require you to answer health questions on an application. They can accept or deny your coverage based on your health. Some people may have health conditions that will prevent them from getting coverage later.

Will a Medicare Supplement plan cover both me and my spouse?

No. A Medicare Supplement plan only covers one person.  If a married couple wants Medicare coverage, they must buy separate Medicare supplement plans.

Note: Some insurance carriers offer a “household discount” if more than one member of the household enrolls or is enrolled with the same carrier.  

Many carriers also offer a small discount off the cost of the monthly premium if payments are made electronically.
 

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment
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