Medigap plans are the most common way people increase their Medicare coverage, usually to help with costs or to get the extra benefits you need. Although, when it comes to Medigap coverage, the logistics of changing your plan can be much more restricting than the other parts of Medicare.
Can Medigap Policies Be Changed?
In most cases, you don’t have many options to change your Medigap plan. Due to this kind of coverage and the laws in place protecting insurance companies, they don’t have to enroll you in a plan after a certain amount of time. If you are still in your 6 month enrollment period (the 6 months after you enroll in part B) then you have the right to enroll in any other Medigap plan.
Outside of this time frame, only special circumstances can guarantee your acceptance into a new plan. These have to do with guaranteed issue rights, which are the guidelines that require insurance providers to offer Medigap plans to you under certain circumstances. The situations that these rights apply to are:
- Your Medicare Advantage plan no longer covers the area you live in
- Your extra coverage not through Medicare or SELECT policy is ending
- You dropped your Medigap plan to try an Advantage, PACE, or SELECT plan less than a year ago
- You have a pre-existing condition and dropped your old Medigap plan after having it for less than 6 months
- Your Medigap insurance company goes bankrupt or made an error that is causing you to need another provider
If you want to change your plan not for the above reasons, you can still apply for a new Medigap policy, but there is no guarantee you’ll be accepted. Because of the lack of security in changing, whether you have guaranteed rights or not, you shouldn’t cancel your current coverage until you are sure you have been accepted by the new plan and are sure you want to keep it.
How To Apply
No matter the reason, every Medigap policy change will go through the same steps.
- Do your research about which new Medigap plan you want to apply for.
- Call the company you want to get coverage from and arrange for an application.
- If you are accepted, take advantage of the free-look period.
The free-look period is where you have 30 days to try out a new plan without having to commit and cancel your old coverage. This does require you to pay both premiums for that month.
- After 30 days, if you want to keep the new plan, call your previous provider and cancel your old one. If you want to stay with the coverage you had, call your new provider and cancel the new plan.
Let Us Help You Navigate Medigap Coverage
We love to help people get the best out of their Medicare coverage and experience. Having help and an expert opinion can help you feel confident in your choices. Reach out and connect with ReLion Insurance Solutions at 858-999-2858 to learn more about Medigap plans.