Can you change Medicare supplement plans at any time?

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.

medicare supplement plansChanging 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:

  1. Your insurance company may be going bankrupt or out of business.
  2. The company committed fraud.
  3. 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.

Advantage of Medicare Supplement Plan N

Medigap Plans are also known as Medicare supplement plans. There are 10 plans lettered from A-N. The Medicare supplement plan N is available in all the United States and are standardized, which means they are all the same, no matter where you live. These plans will cover the medical costs you may have after Medicare pays the amount it designates for that medical issue. This amount is 20% of the medical costs that are left for hospital stays and any specialists you may have needed.

 

Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan N

Foreign health costs up to 80%

Medicare Part A deductible

Medicare Part A hospital stay beyond the 365 days that Medicare pays

Medicare Part A hospice copayment or coinsurance

Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance

First three pints of blood needed for a medical issue

Nursing care facility coinsurance

 

Medicare Supplement Plan N Fees

If one has Medicare supplement Plan N, they may have a copayment of $20 when they visit a physician or specialists and can have the cost of $50 if one needs to go to a hospital emergency room and not be admitted as an inpatient. Also one needs to know that Medicare supplement Plan N will not cover your Medicare Plan B deductible, so you this cost will be your obligation.

As noted before, Medicare supplement Plan N is standardized and is the same plan everywhere and from every insurance agency that provides the plan. These Medicare supplement plans are issued by private insurance agencies and this is where the difference comes in. The insurance agencies will offer different premiums for each plan which is the main difference and the cost will also depend on where you reside.

They have three ways to determine the cost of the premiums. The Medicare supplement plan premiums will depend on the age you are when they are issued.

Medicare supplement plans will charge the same premiums for that age bracket in the area you reside.

If you were to get your Medicare supplement plan years after you join Medicare, the costs of the premiums can be considerably higher. It is wise to acquire a Medicare supplement plan when one is issued Medicare at the age of 65.

 

So Medicare supplement Plan N premiums will be different for each insurance company and they are able to decide the costs according to their methods. It is wise to look carefully at each insurance company to determine what is best for your medical needs.