We know that Medicare insurance is complicated. There are restrictions, open enrollment periods, and so many different plans from which you can choose. It’s easy to find yourself with one hundred different questions.
One of the most common questions we see is, “when can I change my Medicare supplement insurance plan? While we’d like to say the answer is simple, much like Medicare, it’s complicated. In this guide, however, you’ll learn more about when you can change your supplement plans and how to do it.
What are Medicare Supplement plans?
It is important that you understand the difference between your Medicare insurance and Your Medicare Supplement plan. Your Medicare plan is provided by the government, but a Medicare Supplement Plan is a private health insurance policy.
The purpose of a Supplement plan is to supplement the coverage you get with your original Part A or Part B Medicare plan. For a monthly payment, Medicare Supplement plans usually cover your coinsurance, deductible, and copays. They help to fill in the gaps that you would otherwise be required to pay out of pocket. For that reason, they are sometimes referred to as Medigap insurance plans.
When Can I Change My Plans?
The simple answer is that you can change your Medicare Supplement plan anytime, but of course, there’s a catch. Since supplements are private health insurance policies, the insurance company can choose to turn you down for health reasons.
Supplements are not the same as your Medicare Part C or D plan. Therefore, they aren’t eligible for changes during the Annual Election Period, which occurs in the fall.
There’s only one time when you can enroll in any supplement without being rejected, and that time is six months after you turn 65 or enroll in Part B, whichever comes later. Once this period passes, you can still apply, but the decision is ultimately up to the provider.
How Do I Change My Plans?
If you would like to change your Medicare Supplement plan, all you have to do is fill out an application with questions related to your health. Many states also require you to pass a medical underwriting.
What does that mean?
It is the process of examining your medical history in order to determine any risk factors that could affect your health insurance coverage. If you are found to be too much of a risk, the private insurance company can deny you or charge you a higher rate. However, there are also many situations that could be covered under your guaranteed-issue rights.
Reasons to Change Your Insurance
Though the application process isn’t always easy, there are several reasons that seniors choose to switch their Medicare Supplement plans. You should consider changing your plan if you:
- Found the same plan for less money from a different insurance company
- Need more benefits than what your plan currently offers
- Don’t use all of the benefits that you currently have
- Wish you buy your plan from another insurance provider
Request a Quote for a Medicare Supplement Plan
Your best chance to get the coverage you need is within your one-time enrollment window, but you can change your supplement plan at any time! If this is something you’re interested in, we recommend that you do your research and request a Medicare insurance quote from different companies.
Once you have found your ideal plan, you can start the application process. Many companies offer a “free look period” for 30 days. That means you can take 30 days to decide if your new plan is the best Medicare insurance plan for your needs.