Avoiding a Lapse in Coverage When Changing Medigap Plans

You can change Medigap plans at any time of the year, contrary to popular belief. Many people believe, incorrectly, that you can only change during the annual enrollment period, which is at the end of year. In reality, that time period only applies to Part D drug plans and Medicare replacement plans, like Medicare Advantage. With Medigap plans (Medicare Supplements), you can change plans at any time of the year.

Not only can you change plans at any time, it is highly advisable to do so, if you can save money by doing so. Rates for Medigap plans go up often, and to ensure you have the best deal available, you should consider changing any time your rate goes up (Help! My Medigap Rates Went Up).

When you do so, it is important to understand exactly how to do it. The most important thing is what we are going to cover here – how to change plans without experiencing a lapse in coverage or gap between plans. This is very easy to do and is nothing to be concerned about – certainly nothing that should keep you from making a necessary change.

  • First of all, when you change plan, you should complete a new application for the new company. You should apply for a future effective date. To be safe, I would always recommend an effective date at least two weeks in advance of the current date – 3-4 weeks is even better. It can take that long for a Medicare Supplement plan to get approved.
  • When you apply, you will list this future effective date. Then, the new policy will get approved. It is imperative that you do NOT cancel your current plan just because you applied for the new one. You could be turned down for coverage, experience some delay or numerous other things. You do not want to be without coverage and this will prevent that from happening. Do NOT cancel your “old” policy until you have the new policy or card in hand or confirmation from you agent that it has been approved.
  • Once the new plan is approved, and you have some confirmation of this, then you can cancel the old plan effective the same date that the new policy starts. Make sure you do not leave any overlap days in there, or else you will end up paying for two plans for those days. The policies should start/stop on the same date.

Changing plans does not have to be an intimidating process, although it is for many people. With a good agent and a basic understanding of the process, changing plans and saving money off of your premium is very easy to do.

If you want more information or want to find out if you can save money on your Medigap plan, call us at 877.506.3378 or visit our website linked above.

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