When and How to apply

When and How to apply

Open Enrollment and Guaranteed Issue Period

The most optimum time for purchasing a Medicare Supplemental or MediGap policy is during your personal open Enrollment period. This period begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 years of age and it continues for the following 6 months. This period is also known as the “Guaranteed Issue Period”. During this period of time:

  • MediGap and Medicare Supplemental insurers can not refuse to sell you a policy.
  • There is no requirement for a health exam.
  • Insurance companies are not allowed to charge you a higher amount for a policy while having health conditions than someone without. (Something to keep in mind if you have any adverse health conditions)
  • An insurance company can not require you to wait for your coverage to start or charge a higher premium due to any pre-existing conditions. (This does not apply if you were to purchase a MediGap or Medicare Supplemental policy outside of your open enrollment or guaranteed issue period. However, it is worth noting that for most forms of Medicare Supplemental coverage, a waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions is not an issue.)
  • After you have been accepted for a MediGap plan, while you are up to date and continuing to make premium payments, your insurance carrier is obligated to renew your plan automatically. This has a large benefit for those who have pre-existing or adverse health conditions.

In addition to your personal Open Enrollment period there is also an annual Open Enrollment where you are allowed to make changes to your existing Supplemental policy or purchase a new one.

If you are not currently in your Open Enrollment period or the annual Open Enrollment period it is still possible for you to apply for coverage with a MediGap policy. That being said, your premium rates and acceptance cannot be guaranteed. An example of this would be for an insurance company to refuse a to issue you a policy due to their specific underwriting requirements.

The Medicare Open Enrollment period for a 2018 effective date starts October 15th and continues through December 7th.

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