If you’ve ever been declined a Medicare supplement insurance plan due to medical underwriting, then you know the frustration. Some carriers are more stringent than others and the slightest health issue can be grounds for denial.
And in most states, you have only one or two chances to choose a supplement without the need for medical underwriting. Those times are during your 6 month Open Enrollment window – or if you qualify because of a Guarantee Issue event.
The good news is that a couple of Medicare supplement providers are now offering insurance policies without significant medical underwriting requirements. This can be beneficial if you have been stuck in a high-cost Medigap plan and been denied coverage elsewhere due to health history. You can apply for these plans any time during the year.
If you have been turned down in the past while trying to switch coverage, you may qualify for insurance with two of our carriers. While it is not guaranteed that you will be eligible for either, the underwriting standards are far less strenuous than with most other insurance companies. And a switch may help to lower your monthly premiums.
There are several health conditions that are almost always automatic declines for a Medicare supplement when outside of an open enrollment window. And sometimes, it’s a culmination of factors and not one on its own. The good news is that there are a couple of insurance companies that will consider applicants with the health issues listed below.
Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to: Alzheimer’s disease, Angina, Angioplasty, Atrial fibrillation, Atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis, Cardiac pacemaker, Cardiomyopathy, Carotid artery disease, Cerebral palsy, Chronic bronchitis, Chronic lung or respiratory disorders requiring the use of oxygen, Chronic COPD or COLD, Liver Cirrhosis, Coronary artery disease (CAD), Dementia or Senility, Diabetes with neuropathy, retinopathy or vascular disease, Emphysema, Heart valve surgery, Hepatitis (other than hepatitis A), Implantable or subcutaneous defibrillator, Irregular heartbeat, Myasthenia gravis, Other liver disease, Parkinson’s, Peripheral vascular disease, PSA levels greater than 6.0, Stent placement, Systemic lupus, Transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Height and weight (build) can also be an issue when trying to switch to a new Medicare supplement plan – especially when other chronic conditions are present. Fortunately, height and weight will no longer be used to decline coverage when determining eligibility outside of the 6 month Open Enrollment window with this new rating class.
Now it’s important to note that these new Medicare supplement underwriting classes are not guaranteed issue. And depending on your rating class, the premiums may not be lower than what you have now. This is a step in the right direction, however. If more carriers follow suit, then this additional competition will provide more choices and flexibility while driving down rates for everyone.
We are independent Medicare supplement brokers and can help you shop for the best rates on the plans that best suits your needs. If you have been declined in the past and your current rates are becoming unaffordable, then we may be able to help. Contact us today for more information.
Category: Medicare Supplements