Medigap plans are plans that are designed to work with Medicare Parts A & B. These plans are sold through private insurance companies. It is important to understand how these plans work, and there are many very common misconceptions out there about the plans.
First and foremost, many people mistakenly think that there is an annual Medicare Supplement/Medigap open enrollment period. This is simply not true. This misconception is fueled by the fact that Medicare ADVANTAGE plans (which are NOT Medicare Supplements) and Medicare Part D plans (Rx coverage) do have an annual enrollment period. The enrollment period for these plans runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. During that time, you can change plans, enroll in a plan, or disenroll from a plan.
Medicare Supplement plans, on the other hand, do not have such a period. On the contrary, you can enroll in or disenroll from a plan at any time. There are no set times of the year for enrolling in, or changing, your Medicare Supplement coverage.
There is an initial open enrollment period, the terminology of which also adds to the confusion. This initial open enrollment period applies when you first turn 65 or go on Medicare. During this time, you have 6 months to sign up for a plan without medical underwriting, pre-existing conditions etc. After that initial period, you can change plans at any time (and should if you can save money by doing so) but you do have to qualify medically to do it.
So, now that you understand that you can change plans at any time, how do you do it? If your Medigap rate has gone up, it is a good time to re-evaluate your plan and make sure you have the best “deal” available. Because the plans are standardized, it is important, on a regular basis, to compare Medigap rates and switch plans if you can save money by doing so.
If you find a plan that would be less expensive for you, you can apply for the new plan for a future effective date. Once the new plan is approved, you would simply cancel your old plan, effective the date that the new plan starts. This is how you easily and effectively switch Medigap plans. This can result in hundreds, in some cases thousands, of dollars in savings per year.
If you have any questions or would like to speak more about Medigap plan options or how and when you can change plans, you can call us at 877.506.3378 or visit our website at: Medicare-Supplement.US.