Medicare Supplement insurance plans have certain enrollment periods, during which you can sign up for a plan with no medical underwriting. What this means is that you do not have to answer any medical questions or have the possibility of having any pre-existing conditions excluded. However, even outside of these enrollment periods, you can still sign up for a plan at any time. The enrollment periods that allow you to sign up without having to answer the medical questions are: Open Enrollment and Guaranteed Issue. This article will elaborate on both of those periods.
Open Enrollment occurs when you first turn 65 or first enroll in Medicare Part B. This period lasts for six months from your 65th birthday or your Part B effective date. It is possible to have two open enrollment periods – one when you go on Medicare Part B (for disability) and a later one when you turn 65. However, you must have both Medicare Parts A and B.
Guaranteed Issue, on the other hand, is more complex. There are several Guaranteed Issue situations that can occur. To name a few, leaving/losing employer coverage, losing a Medicare Advantage plan, moving to a new state out of an Advantage plan service area, and many more. When these situations occur, you typically have 63 days from the qualifying event to sign up for the Medigap plan. It is very important to do so during this period, while you can still qualify under the Guaranteed Issue stipulations.
The advantages to signing up for a plan during one of these Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue periods speaks for itself. It is essential to do this if you are in one of these periods to avoid having to go through medical underwriting, which can cause problems if you have some pre-existing conditions.
If you have any questions about Medicare Supplement insurance plans or the eligibility or enrollment periods, you can find information on http://www.medicare.gov or by calling us toll-free at 877.506.3378. You can also contact us on our Medicare Supplement quotes page by entering whatever questions you have in the comments box.