Medicare Supplement Insurance—also known as Medigap—does not have annual enrollment periods and can be purchased throughout the year. That being said, your “Open Enrollment Period” is generally the best time to shop for policies and lock in the lowest possible rates. That is because during this time you have a guaranteed issue right, which means any pre-existing conditions you may have cannot be used to justify denying you or charging you more for coverage. This means the Medicare Supplement deadlines that matter most to you will be based on your birthday and major life events, so they will be unique to you. Read on to find out when that window is and how you can best take advantage of this special time period.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is an additional policy you can choose to buy that will work with your Original Medicare to help reduce out-of-pocket spending. These policies are named after letters and standardized by the government, so if you purchase a Plan N you will receive the same basic benefits, no matter what insurance company you use. To be eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy you must be signed up for both Medicare Parts A and B.
Your birthday matters for getting best rates on Medicare Supplement Insurance
Taking action during your “Open Enrollment Period”—a one time opportunity for most people—is very important if you want to ensure you get the best possible rates for your Medicare Supplement Insurance. For most people, your Open Enrollment Period starts after your turn 65 years old on the day your Medicare Part B goes into effect and runs for six months total. This is the Medicare Supplement deadline you need to pay the most attention to to save money in the long-term.
During this time period companies are required by law to offer you their best possible rates, regardless of any pre-existing health conditions you may have. Unless there is a special circumstance, your open enrollment period only happens once and is not repeatable. Once your Open Enrollment Period has passed you can still apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance, but companies will be able to require medical underwriting, which means the policies you are offered may be more expensive or may not be available at all.
Are you eligible for a “Guaranteed Issue Right?”
If you didn’t sign up for Medicare around your 65th birthday or missed your Open Enrollment Period, you still may be eligible for the best rates if you qualify for a “Guaranteed Issue Right,” based on special circumstances. If you have special circumstances—such as moving out of your plans coverage area or losing your coverage through no fault of your own— you may also be eligible for a guaranteed issue right, which means you can apply for certain plans without medical underwriting.
Curious about your Open Enrollment Period or if you are eligible for a guaranteed issue right? Still have questions about your Medicare Supplement deadlines? One of our friendly, Health IQ licensed insurance agents would be happy to answer any questions. You may also qualify for special rate Medicare supplement insurance based on your health consciousness. Call us at (800) 549-1664 and let us help you get the coverage and peace of mind you need.