Your initial open enrollment period is the best time to purchase a Medigap plan. This is a 6-month window beginning on the first day in which you’re both 65 (or older) and enrolled in Part B. Remember, you must have both Medicare Part A and Part B to purchase any Medigap plan.
During this period, you can apply for a Medigap plan with any carrier with NO MEDICAL UNDERWRITING!!!. This means that insurance companies can NOT refuse to sell you a Medigap plan they offer based on your health, make you wait for coverage to start, or charge you higher rates than someone who’s in perfect health. However, not every insurance company offer every Medigap plan – if they’re going to offer Medigap plans, they’re only required to offer plans A, C, and F, but can choose to offer any or all of the other plans (B, D, Hi-F, G, K, L, M, and N).
You can apply early too – up to 3 months before your Part B effective date. For example, if you were born on April 10th, you can apply as early as January 1st and establish an effective date of April 1st for your Part A, Part B, and Medigap coverage.
It’s important to note that while a carrier cannot make you wait for your policy to start, they may be able to make you wait for coverage to kick in for a pre-existing condition – a pre-existing condition is a health condition that you have been treated for within the 6 months before your new policy begins (called the look-back period). After the waiting period has ended, the pre-existing condition will be covered. However, if you are replacing creditable coverage, it’s possible to reduce the waiting period or eliminate it all together if the creditable coverage has been in force for at least the last 6 months. Many carriers ask applicants to skip their health questions if they’re applying during their open enrollment period and will cover the pre-existing condition from day one.
If you do not apply during your initial open enrollment period, an insurance company can use medical underwriting to determine your eligibility – if you have certain health problems, you may not be able to qualify for a policy, unless you’re eligible for a guaranteed issue right.
If you have any questions about Medigap plans or would like a free quote comparison, please give us a call at 1-888-972-0024 or CLICK HERE to send us an e-mail 24 hours a day.