If you have a Medicare supplement plan, you may face rate increases at some point and consider changing plans. If you’re satisfied with your current plan, you should typically stay with your plan for as long as the coverage and insurance company continue to meet your needs.
If your Medicare supplement plan is not meeting your coverage needs or budget, you may be considering switching to a new type of Medigap plan. For example, you may want to switch because:
- You are paying for benefits you don’t need,
- You need a more comprehensive plan that offers additional benefits now than you did when you first bought your policy,
- You are not satisfied with the company you purchased your supplement from, or
- You want to find a more affordable policy.
Can I switch my Medigap plan?
Under federal law, you have a guaranteed issue right to buy a Medicare supplement plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins 6 months prior to your 65th birthday and/or Part B start date and continues for 6 months after those dates. During this period, you cannot be declined by an insurance carrier or be charged more because of a pre-existing health condition.
If you are within your 6-month Open Enrollment period or have a guaranteed issue right as noted above, you have the right to choose any Medicare supplement policy that you like, without having to go through medical underwriting.
Switching Medigap Plans After Your Open Enrollment Period
After your Medicare supplement Open Enrollment Period, insurers can refuse to sell you a Medigap policy, delay coverage, or charge you a higher premium because of an existing health condition. The insurance company may also ask you to submit to a medical underwriting process and deny you coverage or charge you a higher rate based on its findings.
This does not mean that you can’t switch plans. It may simply require additional effort and will come at a higher risk.
What if I switch and I don’t like my new Medigap policy?
You have the right to change your mind and cancel your new Medigap policy within the first 30 days if you are not happy with your company or coverage. This time frame is called your free-look period, which starts when you get your new Medigap policy.
Do I have to switch Medigap plans if I move to another state?
You can keep your current Medigap policy in any state as long as you are still in Original Medicare (Parts A & B). There’s no need to switch plans unless you simply want to.
If you want to switch to a different policy, you will have to check with your insurance company to see if they will offer you a different Medigap policy. You may have to pay more for your new Medigap policy and answer some medical questions if you are buying a policy outside of your Medigap open enrollment period.
GoMedigap is an independent Medicare supplement insurance agency, representing over 30 of the top providers. If you are looking to switch your Medicare supplement plan, please fill out a quick form here to view your rates online. Or, give us a call at (866) 894-3258.