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Medicare Supplement (Medigap)
Feb 15, 2024

Can You Change Medicare Supplement Plans Anytime?

changing medicare supplement plan, woman on phone

Medicare Supplement plans (aka Medigap) can help you pay for services not covered by Medicare, such as deductibles and copayments. However, if your healthcare needs change, you may ask yourself this question: Can you change Medicare Supplement plans anytime?

Understanding Medicare Supplement Plans:

In most states, Medicare Supplement plans are standardized and labeled with letters (Plan A to N), each offering a specific set of benefits. While the coverage remains the same across insurers for a particular plan, the costs may vary. Someone may consider changing their plan if they have had changes in health needs, want a lower premium plan, or they’re dissatisfied with their current provider.

Changing Plans During Open Enrollment:

The most opportune time to switch Medicare Supplement plans is during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). This period starts when an individual enrolls in Medicare Part B and lasts up to six months. During the OEP, insurers are required to accept applicants without considering pre-existing conditions. This offers a valuable opportunity for individuals to explore different plans.

State Specific Rights:

In some states, there are special rights available to Medicare beneficiaries, such as an extended Open Enrollment Period or Birthday Rule. For example, the state of New York has a continuous Open Enrollment Period in which Medicare beneficiaries can enroll into a Supplement plan year-round, without going through medical underwriting. In California, beneficiaries are allowed to change their Supplement plan to another plan of equal or lesser coverage each year during a 91-day period surrounding their birthday, called a Birthday Rule. There are many other states that have special rules like these, so make yourself familiar with the rules in your state.

Guaranteed Issue Rights:

Individuals have the option to change their Medicare Supplement plans without facing medical underwriting during specific situations known as Guaranteed Issue Rights. For example, if an individual loses their employer-sponsored health coverage or their Medicare Advantage plan is discontinued, they may have the right to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without being subjected to health questions. Keep in mind that GI Rights may only apply to specific plan letters, such as Plan F or G.

Factors to Consider:

If you were wondering “Can you change Medicare Supplement plans anytime”, you should know the answer is yes, but there are several things you should consider first. Before deciding to change your Medicare Supplement plan, it’s essential to carefully assess your healthcare needs, budget, and any potential changes in circumstances.

Although you can apply for another Medicare Supplement plan at any time, you may be subject to medical underwriting. If you are, then your approval depends on your health history. Understanding enrollment periods and Guaranteed Issue Rights is crucial for making informed decisions. Regularly reviewing your healthcare needs with a licensed Medicare agent who is familiar with enrollment periods will empower you to make choices that align with your healthcare needs.

At AMAC, we have a team of knowledgeable Medicare Advisors who are ready to answer any questions you have about Medicare.

Give us a call today at 855-611-4856 or click the button below for a call back!

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