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Understanding The Medicare Open Enrollment Window

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The Medicare open enrollment period is a six month window including the three months prior to and the three months following your 65th birthday. It is advantageous for most seniors to consider purchasing a Medicare supplement plan during this 6-7 month period of time. (Many carriers will still let you enroll up to six months after your 65th birthday as well.)

Most importantly, an applicant cannot be denied supplemental coverage during the open enrollment window due to poor health. There is no health underwriting necessary and applicants will have all Medigap plans offered in their state available to them for purchase. there are no waiting periods for preexisting conditions either.

Advantages of Enrolling in Medicare at Age 65

There are a few supplemental insurance providers who provide discounts during open enrollment. In some cases, the discount can be as much as 15% to the applicant. The savings will carry over into subsequent years helping to keep premiums lower as the insured grows older.

Additionally, some insurance companies will require underwriting for popular supplements, like Plan G, if the applicant is more than three months past their 65th birthday. Applying during the six month window will require no underwriting for Plan G.

It all depends on when you become eligible for Medicare Part B. Those who keep qualifying group coverage may wait past age 65 to enroll in Medicare Part B as their employer sponsored coverage will be primary.

Other Guaranteed Periods of Eligibility For Medicare Supplement Insurance

There are other time periods of guaranteed eligibility for a Medigap policy if the applicant is outside of their six month period. Consumers age 65 or older and who are involuntarily losing group health insurance coverage will also be guaranteed a supplemental policy. However, they may have to go through underwriting for certain plans, like Plan G, and they might not be afforded any discounts on their plan choice.

If you are enrolling in Medicare part B for the first time after age 65, then you can still purchase any plan without medical underwriting. Medicare Part B enrollment is the gateway to purchasing a Medicare supplement policy.

Medicare Disability and Open Enrollment

In some states, acceptance into Medicare disability is a qualifying event. Consumers under age 65 who are approved for government disability will have a a six months window to purchase a Medicare supplement regardless of health history. Missouri, Illinois and Pennsylvania are all such states.

It is very advantageous for those who are eligible to enroll in a plan during this opening. Otherwise, they will have to go through medical underwriting and it is unlikely that they would qualify for supplemental coverage due to their health concerns.

Should you wish to discuss your options about enrolling in a Medicare supplement policy, please contact us today. It can be difficult to find coverage of you miss your open enrollment window – so don’t wait too long!

Category: Medicare Supplements

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