4 reasons you may want to change medigap policies
- You are paying for benefits you don’t need.
- You need more benefits.
- You want to change your insurance company.
- You want a policy that costs less.
can I change the policy?
In most cases, you will not have the right under federal law to change medigap policies, unless one of the following applies:
- you are eligible under a specific circumstance or guaranteed emission rights
- you are within your 6-month medigap open enrollment period
You don’t have to wait a certain amount of time after you buy your first medigap policy before you can change to a different medigap policy.
see scenarios below about changing medigap policies.
If you have an old medigap policy, you don’t have to switch.
If you buy a new medigap policy, you must give up your old policy (except for your 30-day “free trial”). once you cancel the policy, you can’t get it back and it can no longer be sold because it’s not a standardized policy.
If you purchased your policy before 2010, it may offer coverage that isn’t available in a newer policy. if you bought your policy before 1992, your policy:
- may not be a guaranteed renewable policy
- may have a higher premium increase than the newest standardized medigap policies currently being sold
The medigap insurance company can make you wait up to 6 months to get coverage for pre-existing conditions. The number of months you have had your current medigap policy must be subtracted from the time you must wait before your new medigap policy covers your pre-existing condition.
the new insurance company cannot exclude your
if you have had your medigap policy for less than 6 months:
The number of months you have had your current medigap policy must be subtracted from the time you must wait before your new medigap policy covers your pre-existing condition.
If the insurance company agrees to issue the new policy, you cannot write pre-existing conditions, waiting periods, elimination periods, or trial periods on the replacement policy.
You may still have to wait up to 6 months before that benefit is covered, no matter how long you’ve had your current medigap policy.
You can keep your current medigap policy no matter where you live, as long as you still have
. If you want to change to a different medigap policy, you’ll need to check with your current or new insurance company to see if they will offer you a different policy.
If you decide to switch, you may have to pay more for your new medigap policy. You may also need to answer some medical questions if you’re buying a medigap policy outside of your medigap open enrollment period.
you have the following options:
- Buy a standardized medigap policy from your current medigap insurance carrier that offers the same or fewer benefits as your current medicare select policy. If you’ve had your Medicare Select policy for more than 6 months, you won’t have to answer any medical questions.
- Use your guaranteed issue right to buy any medigap a, b, c, f, k, or l plan that any insurance company sells in most states.
learn more about how medigap works with medicare advantage plans.
how to change medigap policies
Call the new insurance company and make arrangements to apply for your new medigap policy. If your application is accepted, call your current insurance company and request that your coverage be terminated. the insurance company can tell you how to submit a request to end your coverage.
medigap free review period
You have 30 days to decide if you want to keep the new medigap policy. this is called your “free trial period.” the 30-day free review period begins when you get your new medigap policy. You will need to pay both premiums for one month.
Don’t cancel your first medigap policy until you’ve decided to keep the second medigap policy. In your new medigap policy application, you must promise to cancel your first policy.