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January 6, 2021
When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan?

When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan?

Making sure you have the right Medicare coverage can be confusing. Enrollment timing, different plans, and personal requirements can make shopping around for Medicare a hassle.

Luckily, that’s why Medicare Allies is here. We can give you the bite-sized low-down on all things Medicare coverage so you make the most informed decisions possible without having to spend unnecessary time in the weeds.

Through different advertisements, letters, or word-of-mouth, you have probably heard enticing stories of savings and extra benefits through a Medicare Supplement plan.

Here is all you need to know about your options regarding Medicare Supplement plans.

Read More: Do You Have to Renew Your Medicare Supplement Every Year?

What Is a Medicare Supplement?

Sometimes, your traditional Medicare plan can have gaps in coverage.

A Medicare Supplement plan (also known as Medigap) is used for exactly what the name suggests — it supplements the gaps in your original Medicare coverage. This means you must have Medicare Parts A and B in order to get a Medigap plan.

Your regular Medicare plan covers the bulk of your medical costs, but a Medicare Supplement plan can cover some remaining bills, including:

  • Copayments
  • Coinsurance
  • Deductibles

While Medigap can cover some extra costs, it’s important to remember it won't cover charges not approved by Medicare. Things like dental, vision, and nursing home care are not covered.

You Have a 6-Month Medigap Open Enrollment Period  

You have probably received mail or seen advertisements about enrollment periods for different types of Medicare plans. Medicare Supplements are no different. There is a 6-month Medigap enrollment period, during which you can enroll at any time.

During this open enrollment period, the prices for Medigap insurance will likely be lower than if you were to try to purchase it at another time. This is also the time (most likely) that you will be enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B.

Unlike Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Supplement insurance is something that comes from a private company, instead of the government.

Since there is an open enrollment period, you might be wondering, “What is the deadline for Medicare Supplemental insurance?”

Your open enrollment period is unique to you. This period will begin the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. After this 6-month period, you cannot repeat Open Enrollment. This means that if you do not take the opportunity when it arises, you might be working with higher prices due to your medical conditions, or you may not be able to get a Medicare Supplement plan at all.

Each state is different, so talk to your agent to learn more today!

Can I Buy a Medicare Supplement at Any Time?

The short answer is yes. However, selecting your Medicare Supplement plan outside of your 6-month enrollment period can have its downsides.  

If you don’t buy your Medigap plan during your open enrollment period, you are not guaranteed to be accepted. You will have to answer different questions about your health that may disqualify you for Medicare Supplement insurance outside of your normal enrollment period.

Because Medicare Supplement insurance is provided by private companies, these health questions and requirements vary per company.

Lucky for you, Medicare Allies specializes in finding you the most competitive pricing, as well as great coverage from carriers that will accept you no matter what health conditions you may have. Even if you think you are uninsurable, we will find a plan for you!

How Many Medicare Supplement Plans Can You Have?

While there are many options for Medigap insurance, you can only have one plan.

Do You Have to Re-Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Every Year?

Many clients have some confusion when their agent reaches out to them each year and wonder whether or not they have to re-enroll for their Medicare coverage annually.

The answer is pretty straightforward: No, you don’t.

However, Medicare Allies schedules annual reviews with each and every one of our clients to review coverage and shop the market again. If your rates go up or your needs change, this is a great time to discuss your options.

If we can save you money on your plan without changing your coverage at all, we will.

Read more about our success stories here.

Do Medicare supplement plans renew automatically?

Yes, they do! This plan will come with a premium that you will have to pay annually, bi-annually, or monthly. As long as you pay your premiums, your plan will renew.

Do I need to do anything if I want to keep the same Medicare plan?

No, you don’t. If you absolutely love your Medicare coverage, it will continue to renew, as long as you are paying your premiums throughout the year.

However, it’s always a good idea to review your Medicare coverage every year, whether you have a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, or any other plan.  

Particularly, Medicare Advantage plans can (and do!) change every year. There’s lots of moving pieces when it comes to Medicare coverage, so it is important to know your options.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Medicare Allies and make sure that you are in a good place with your plan. We want your needs to be met, and it never hurts to check!

Can I Switch from a Medicare Supplement to an Advantage Plan?

Yes, you can. These plans cannot work together at the same time, so if you wanted to get on a Medicare Advantage plan, you would have to drop your Medigap coverage.

If you are interested in doing so, contact us for help.

Conclusion

A Medicare Supplement plan can be a great option for qualifying individuals who need extra help filling in for their healthcare costs.

If you’re considering this plan, be sure to be proactive during your open enrollment period and learn more about your options.

Contact us to learn more now!

Luke Hockaday
By
Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday is a Customer Success Rep here at Medicare Allies. Luke has been helping Medicare-eligible clients with their insurance and retirement-planning needs since 2011. Luke is passionate about 3 things, and 3 things only: senior insurance, football, and food!

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