If you’re enrolling in a Medicare plan and looking into Medicare Supplemental Insurance, you probably have some questions.
It’s quite natural to have questions and look for answers about Medicare Insurance and Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap), and today we’ll look at some of the more common ones and try to demystify them.
What is the open enrollment period for supplemental plans?
The open enrollment period for supplemental plans is a six-month period that starts on the first day the beneficiary is both 1) 65 years of age or older, and 2) enrolled in Medicare Part B.
In other words, on the first day you are at least 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B, you will have six months to choose a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan. This is when you want to sign up: during your open enrollment period, Medigap insurers cannot deny you coverage.
Wait beyond your six months, and it will be much harder to get the coverage you need.
Can you change supplemental plans anytime?
No, you cannot change Medigap supplemental plans at any time. Under the State of Oregon’s Birthday Rule, you have the option to change your policy for 30 days every year, starting on your birthday.
During those 30 days, you can choose a policy of the same type as the one you already had, or you can choose one with lower benefits, with no medical underwriting. This means that the carriers cannot say no to you: they have to sell you the plan.
Note that you cannot, however, choose a plan with higher benefits, not without medical underwriting.