Medicare is a national health insurance program in the United States which aims to provide aid for people above 65, younger people with disabilities, and people with ESRD. However, it doesn’t cover some of the health care costs (Copyaments, Coinsurance and Deductibles). In that case, a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy comes to aid.
What is the process of changing Medicare supplement plans?
After you acquire Medicare part B plan, and are 65 years of age or older, the Medigap Open Enrolment Period begins, where, as provisioned by the federal law, you have a guaranteed right to buy Medicare Supplement plans at www.medisupps.com/ or similar websites.
You cannot be turned down or charged more (due to existence of a pre-existing health condition) by insurers during this period.
However, you may want to switch if you’re not satisfied with the benefits of the existing plan, you’re in need of more benefits, you want to change your insurance company, or you want to switch to a different plan that costs less.
Changing Medicare supplement plans is generally not allowed by the federal laws unless the Enrolment Period is active, or due to a guaranteed issued right. However, that doesn’t mean switching between plans is impossible, if your insurance company is willing to sell you a different plan.
In that case, you may first apply for a new a Medigap policy from your new insurer, and if it is accepted, you may call your current insurance company to terminate your coverage, by submitting a request, as per the company needs.
You will have a 30-day free look period if you’re not yet decided in your new policy, and it is wise to not cancel your existing plan before deciding to keep the new policy.
What are situations under which you’re allowed to switch your Medicare supplement policy?
You are allowed to switch, if
- Your 6-month open enrolment period is still valid and in existence.
- You’re eligible under certain guaranteed issue rights.
The guaranteed issue rights are valid if:
- Your insurance company may be going bankrupt or out of business.
- The company committed fraud.
- The company misled you.
It’s important to keep in mind that, if you do not qualify for any of the reasons stated above, you may need to answer specific questions or pay more for a new Medicare Supplement plan.