There are several events that guarantee a consumer’s right to purchase Medicare supplement insurance coverage. It is important for seniors to take advantage of these periods or they may no longer qualify medically for enrollment.
Listed below are the most common occurrences that allow for guaranteed eligibility into a supplemental plan as well as rules and regulations unique to a few different states. Request a quote today!
The most common event is simply turning age 65 and enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B. Government mandates allow for a three month eligibility window on either side of your 65th birthday. Usually this is the best time to purchase Medigap coverage. There will be no medical underwriting necessary for the insured and all plans are available for purchase.
Involuntary loss of employer sponsored group coverage is also a qualifying event. The proposed insured needs to be age 65 or above, but will have most plans available. If the insured previously enrolled in Parts A and B, then Plan F will only be available through medical underwriting. All other plans are guaranteed for the insured, including popular Plan G.
Consumers who discontinue a Medicare Advantage plan within one year of acceptance can purchase a supplemental policy. Due to the complexity of Advantage plans, government mandates allow consumers one year to opt out and return to traditional Medicare and Medigap coverage. If the insured has participated in the coverage for longer than a year, then medical underwriting may be necessary for plan purchase.
If the insured changes service areas, then he or she will most likely be eligible for a new policy. Moving from state to state or into an area where the previous insurance company does not provide benefits allows consumers to enroll with a new insurance company.
In some states, Illinois, Missouri and Pennsylvania for example, those under age 65 and accepted into Medicare disability are eligible to purchase a supplement plan. Very few states require insurance companies to offer plans for those under age 65, thus it is wise to explore this option if it’s available. This can be a very small window of opportunity – one to three months in some cases.
What also make some states unique is they allow for Medicare open enrollment every year. If the insured is unhappy with rates or claims handling, then a new plan can be purchased during the insured’s specific enrollment period. This rule is true for Missouri and California.
Finally, if the insured is healthy enough, he or she can simply research a plan with an insurance provider offering better rates. Medical underwriting will be necessary, but many carriers offer rating classes depending on the health and build of the insured. Those in good health will have all options available to them.
In summary, there are several circumstances that guarantee a consumer’s right to purchase a Medicare supplement plan. Those eligible for open enrollment should work with a knowledgeable agent (like us) who offers policies from several insurance companies. Please contact us today to learn more about your options.
Category: Medicare Supplements