Medicare supplement premiums are usually locked-in during the first year of the policy. After 12 months and on your policy anniversary, you’ll usually find the insurance company increases your monthly rates by 5-10%.
Many carriers are enacting price increases of ten percent or more year over year. Some are raising prices more than once in the same year. Rest assured however, there are several ways to reduce your monthly premiums.
When Can I Change My Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?
The short answer is: you can switch Medicare supplement plans year round. In most states, there is no open enrollment period once you are already a Medicare beneficiary. When your premiums increase, you can contact an independent agency (like ours) and we will help you find new companies offering the same coverage at a lower rate.
There is one caveat, however. You must be in reasonably good health to medically qualify for a new supplemental insurance plan. Most companies have several questions on their application and if any are answered yes, you will be ineligible for new coverage. A phone interview might be required as well, but you do not need to get a physical.
In some cases, a certain amount of time must have elapsed since a particular health event. You might need to be 3-5 years removed from a heart incident, for example.
In our experience, many consumers can be medically underwritten for a new plan. While underwriting questions and time limits apply to some, they are not consistent across the board. Some insurance companies underwriting standards are more lenient than others.
Guaranteed Issue Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Several insurance companies have increased premiums more substantially over the last few years in several areas of the country. As long as you are in decent health, you will be able to purchase the same coverage (Plan F for instance) with another company for less.
However, for those who cannot medically qualify for new coverage, there might be other options in certain states. Every now and again, an insurance company will offer their Medicare Supplements with little to no medical underwriting.
They might be trying to drum up business or increase their insured population. Policies might be offered on a Guaranteed Issue basis or with small strings attached. For instance, it might be required that you have an existing plan with a competitor to switch to a new lower cost plan. Others will accept all comers with few health questions asked on certain plans.
Pro tip: It’s wise to have a relationship with an independent broker who is familiar with any Medicare Supplement specials offered in your State.
Yearly Anniversary And Open Enrollment States
Two states offering a yearly open enrollment that we serve are Missouri and California. They both have an annual open enrollment period when you can switch to like, or lesser, coverage (Plan F to Plan F or Plan F to Plan G for instance) without medical underwriting. The open enrollment window is unique to the individual and occurs on either the anniversary date when the coverage was purchased or the insured’s birthday.
If you live in either of these states and are unsure of your options, then contact our agency. We can discuss the optimal way to purchase a new Medicare supplement without any medical underwriting needed.
Request More Medigap Information
We are an independent agency licensed with all of the major carriers. We work in several states and offer several competitively priced Medicare supplement insurance plans. There is no additional cost to use our services as Medigap prices are controlled by law. You are always buying direct when using us.
We will provide you with current quotes on the plan(s) of your choice. We’ll advise you on your best options when your monthly premiums have increased or when you are in your open enrollment window.
Contact us to learn more about lowering your Medicare supplement rates today.