buy a policy when you’re first eligible
The best time to buy a medigap policy is during your 6-month medigap open enrollment period. you will generally get better prices and more options between policies. During that time, you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems. this period automatically starts the first month you have
and you are 65 years of age or older. it cannot be changed or repeated. After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a medigap policy. if you can buy one, it may cost more due to past or present health issues.
during open enrollment
Medigap insurance companies are generally allowed to use the medical underwriting to decide whether to accept your application and how much to charge you for the medigap policy. however, even if you have health problems, during your medigap open enrollment period you can buy any policy the company sells for the same price as people in good health.
find your situation below:
Your medigap open enrollment period begins when you enroll in part b and cannot be changed or repeated. In most cases, it makes sense to enroll in Part B when you’re first eligible, because otherwise you may have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty.
The best time to buy a medigap policy is the 6-month period beginning the first day of the month you’re age 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. For example, if you turn 65 and are enrolled in Part B in June, the best time to buy a medigap policy is June through November.
After this enrollment period, your option to purchase a medigap policy may be limited and may cost more. some states have additional open enrollment periods.
Federal law does not require insurance companies to sell medigap policies to people under the age of 65. If you’re under 65, you may not be able to buy the Medigap policy you want, or any Medigap policy, until you turn 65. however, some states require medigap insurance companies to sell you a medigap policy, even if you’re under 65. if you can buy one, it may cost you more.
If you have group health coverage through an employer or union because you or your spouse is currently working, you may want to wait to enroll in Part B. Employer plans often provide medigap-like coverage, so you don’t need a medigap policy.
When your employer coverage ends, you’ll have the opportunity to enroll in Part B without a late enrollment penalty. That means your Medigap open enrollment period will start when you’re ready to take advantage of it. If you signed up for Part B while you still had employer coverage, your Medigap open enrollment period would begin. Unless you bought a medigap policy before you needed it, you’ll miss out on your open enrollment period entirely.
out of open enrollment
If you apply for medigap coverage after your open enrollment period, there’s no guarantee that an insurance company will sell you a medigap policy if you don’t meet the medical underwriting requirements, unless you’re eligible due to a medical condition. of the situations below.
In some states, you may be able to buy another type of medigap policy called a
. If you buy a Medicare Select policy, you have the right to change your mind within 12 months and switch to a standard Medigap policy.
find your situation below:
if you have esrd, you may not be able to buy the medigap policy you want, or any medigap policy, until you turn 65. Federal law does not require insurance companies to sell medigap policies to people under the age of 65.
a medigap policy is not available to people under 65 with esrd.
Some states give these rights to everyone with Medicare under age 65. other states provide these rights only to people eligible for medicare because of a disability or only to people with end-stage renal disease. check with your state insurance department about what rights you may have under state law.
During the medigap open enrollment period, an insurance company cannot use the medical underwriting. this means the company can’t do any of these things because of your health problems:
- refuse to sell you any medigap policy they sell
- make you wait for coverage to start (except as explained below)
- charge you more for a medigap policy
In some cases, an insurance company must sell you a medigap policy, even if you have health problems. You are guaranteed the right to buy a medigap policy:
- when you are in your medigap open enrollment period
- if you have a guaranteed emission right
You can also buy a medigap policy at other times, but the insurance company may deny you a medigap policy based on your health.
The insurance company can’t make you wait for your coverage to start, but they can make you wait to get coverage if you have a
In some cases, the medigap insurance company may refuse to cover your
for these pre-existing health problems for up to 6 months (called the “pre-existing condition waiting period”). after these 6 months, the medigap policy will cover your pre-existing condition.
Pre-existing condition coverage may be excluded if the condition was treated or diagnosed within 6 months before the medigap policy coverage begins. after this 6-month period, the medigap policy will cover the condition that was excluded.
when you receive services covered by medicare,
will continue to cover the condition, even if your medigap policy doesn’t cover your out-of-pocket costs, but you are responsible for
it is possible to avoid or shorten waiting periods for a
if you buy a medigap policy during your medigap open enrollment period to replace “
If you’ve had at least 6 months of continuous prior creditable coverage, the medigap insurance company can’t make you wait before covering your pre-existing condition. Many types of health care coverage can count as creditable coverage under medigap policies, but will only count if the break in coverage was no more than 63 days.
If you have group health insurance through an employer or union, your medigap open enrollment period will begin when you enroll in part b.
If you buy a medigap policy when you have a guaranteed right of issue (also called “medigap protection”), the insurance company can’t use a pre-existing condition waiting period.