What You Need To Know About Changing Your Medicare Supplement Plan

There have been several significant changes to Medicare Supplement insurance (also known as Medigap) in 2020. This does not mean that you have to switch plans if you already have a Plan F or Plan C; you may keep it! However, if you are a Plan F or Plan G holder, and really don’t need all the benefits that your plan provides, you may want to switch to a different Medigap plan to avoid higher premiums. Or perhaps you realize that your current plan does not offer enough benefits for your current health situation and need more coverage. Maybe you just want to work with a different insurer. All of these are reasons why you might be considering changing your Medicare Supplement plan.

You might not know if that option is available to you, when to do it, or how to do it. Read on to learn more about what you need to know before switching to a different Medigap plan!

All Medicare Supplement plan holders can apply to change plans at any time as long as they are currently enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. However, the plan is free to not accept you or may charge you more money unless you have guaranteed issue rights.

Guaranteed issue rights means that insurers cannot deny you coverage or raise your rates because of a pre-existing condition. Not everyone enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan has guaranteed issue rights, however.

Here are some situations where guaranteed issue rights may apply to you:

  • If it is within your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins the first month you have Medicare Part B and are age 65 or older
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, and the insurance company is no longer servicing your area
  • If your Medicare Advantage plan has been discontinued
  • If you moved out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s service area
  • If you are enrolled in Original Medicare and your employer coverage is ending
  • If you are enrolled in Original Medicare and a Medicare SELECT plan, and you move out of the Medicare SELECT plan’s service area
  • If your Medicare Supplement plan’s insurer went bankrupt
  • If you end your Medicare Supplement coverage because your insurer was not compliant with the law

If any of the above scenarios describe your situation, you are eligible to switch Medigap plans without fear of being denied coverage or charged more for the same coverage. Remember that you can technically change plans at any time even if you do not have guaranteed issue rights, but it may not be worth the amount you could potentially end up paying for coverage.

When you change plans, you may need to wait for coverage to kick in for up to six months

Note that you may have the option of getting a “free look period” when you switch plans. You typically get 30 days to decide if you like your new plan and want to keep it! The only downside is that during that month, you pay both your old plan’s premium and your new plan’s premium.

If you want to change your Medicare Supplement plan, contact the insurance company selling the plan and explain what you want to do. They will guide you through the application process and give you any other information you need to know. When/If they accept your application, you will need to call your current insurer and cancel your coverage. Make sure to cancel it in writing, following all of the appropriate instructions. Your insurance company cannot cancel a plan for you.

Remember that if you cancel your Medigap Plan C or Plan F, you cannot get it back.

Need some help changing your Medicare Supplement plan? Want to browse Medigap plans in your area to explore your options and find the right plan for your health needs and budget? You can enroll online in minutes at enrollmedicare.com!

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