The best time to enroll in MediGap — especially for people with pre-existing health conditions — is during the open enrollment period that begins six months after the date that Medicare Part B becomes effective if you are 65 years old. After this MediGap enrollment period ends, there is no guarantee you will be eligible for a MediGap plan. Many people, however, can still qualify. The plan may cost more after this open enrollment period because the private insurance companies you purchase your supplemental plan from add underwriting conditions – adjustments to the plan price based on age and health history. This is why the best time to enroll is during the open enrollment period. To find a MediGap plan, you can start by using Medicare.gov’s MediGap policy search tool or speak to an insurance agent.
Can I buy a Medicare supplemental plan at any time?
Ability to purchase a Medicare supplemental plan after the sixth month Open Enrollment window will rely on an individual’s ability to qualify. This MediGap enrollment period may cost more due to underwriting factors and there is no qualification guarantee. Individuals with severe pre-existing conditions may not be approved after this period. If you have passed this six month open-enrollment window you may still be eligible for a MediGap plan or a Medicare SELECT plan if it’s offered in your state.
What are my options for MediGap policies and how do they differ?
Medicare Plans F and G are optional Medicare supplement plans available to anyone who qualifies for Medicare services, who turn 65 and is within the open enrollment window. These plans cover the extra costs of deductibles and copayments not offered in the first parts of Medicare. They are nearly identical in terms of what they provide.
The only difference between F and G is in the way they cover Medicare Part B — the part of the plan that pays 80% of fees for services such as hospitalization and skilled nursing facilities, but then requires you to pay the remaining 20%.
- Medicare Part F has always covered the full amount of this 20% copayment.
- Beginning 2019 Medicare Part G covered 100% of this cost as well.
Is Medicare Plan F being discontinued?
Not exactly. Medicare Part F is no longer being offered to new enrollees after 2020 following the passing of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This only applies to new MediGap enrollment—you can keep your plan if you already have it.
Medicare Parts F and G are nearly identical as of 2019 in terms of what they cover. This means signing up for either Medicare Part C (a Medicare Advantage Plan) or a MediGap policy via Medicare Part G will be the two supplemental Medicare plans offered to people who want predictable costs with no extra fees.
Can I keep my MediGap if I move to a new location?
In most cases, yes. As long as you are still enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B you are still eligible for MediGap services, but whether you can keep the same plan varies state by state. Specifically individuals moving to or from Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin will not necessarily be able to keep the same plan and will have to switch to a different MediGap plan. People moving to and from other states should be able to keep the same MediGap plan. During this transition it’s important for individuals to update the Social Security Administration with new addresses to make sure they can continue to receive the benefits they are entitled to.
Leave a Reply