Can I Change Medicare Supplement Plans at Anytime? The short answer is yes, but there are some details that you need to know. You're technically allowed to change a Medicare supplement plan anytime you want, but you can be turned down if you do not pass underwriting. Keep reading to get the details or call us at 844-528-8688 to get answers to your questions.
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Easy Article Navigation:
- Open Enrollment is a One-Time Event when You Turn 65
- Reasons to Consider Changing Your Medicare Supplement Plan
- Can I change Medicare Supplement plans Anytime?
- How Many Medicare Supplement Plans are There?
- Is it Possible to avoid Medical Underwriting
- Can I switch from a Medicare Supplement to a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Many seniors who have purchased a Medicare Supplement, especially those new to Medicare, may find out that the plan they selected doesn’t meet their needs.
Certainly, this isn’t unusual because most Medicare Supplement buyers consider their healthcare needs at the time of purchase which will generally change over time.
So then, the question: "Can I change Medicare Supplement plans anytime" is a frequent and fair question to be asking but unfortunately, the proper answer is “maybe.”
Remember, Open Enrollment is a One-Time Event when You Turn 65
A Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap) is private health insurance (similar to life insurance) that requires medical underwriting except during your open enrollment period.
This means that during your one-time open enrollment, the health insurance company does not consider your medical situation and cannot raise your rates or decline to offer a policy.
However, after your open enrollment expires, your “guaranteed issue” rights are no longer in force, so if you decide to change Medicare Supplement plans, the insurance company will consider your health status.
This means that you may be unable to change plans if you cannot pass the medical underwriting requirements of the company you wanting to change to, even if you stay with the same company and change to a different plan.
Reasons to Consider Changing Your Medicare Supplement Plan
As was mentioned earlier, when Medicare beneficiaries purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, the decision on which plan to purchase is based on the healthcare services you generally need at that time and your budget for purchasing coverage.
Since none of us live in a vacuum, things are going to change and generally, healthcare needs and the monthly budget are two of those things.
Most people consider changing their Medicare Supplement plan for one or more of the following reasons:
- You suspect you are paying for benefits that you don’t need
- The benefits you have now are not sufficient to meet your needs
- You’ve lost confidence in your insurance company
- You’ve received a much higher renewal offer
- You need to reduce your premium to fit your budget
How Can I Change My Medicare Supplement plan Anytime I want?
You must be willing to go through medical underwriting and you are confident that you’ll satisfy the company’s guidelines (if you’re outside of your open enrollment period). The underwriting procedure is nothing difficult. You will answer some health questions and list your medications.
Nobody will come to your home and draw fluids like term life insurance underwriting. They will simply look at your records with the MIB and your prescription history.
Each year, you’ll receive a renewal offer from your insurer about a month before the anniversary date of your Medicare Supplement plan. If the company plans to increase your rates, this letter will explain how much your increase will be.
When you receive this letter and are considering changing plans, call the Medicare Solutions Team at 844-528-8688 or send us an email and we'll spring into action to find the plan that will best meet your circumstances and budget.
Contacting us early will give our team time to walk you through the medical underwriting process and help you decide if it’s time to change your plan or your company, or both.
If you decide to go ahead and renew your coverage, that’s okay too, because you can change your plan or company whenever it best suits your needs.
How Many Medicare Supplement Plans are There?
When it comes to Medicare Supplements, you have many plans to choose from and fortunately, the coverages do not change very often. Depending on when you first became eligible for Original Medicare, you will have a choice of at least eight different plans.
Moreover, if you became eligible for Original Medicare before January 1, 2020, you will have a choice of ten different plans.
*Plans F & C are only available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020.
1 Plans F & G offer high-deductible plans that have an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once you meet the deductible, your plan will pay 100% of covered healthcare services for the remainder of the year.
2 The Plan K has a yearly limit of $6,220 for out-of-pocket expenses. When the limit is met the Plan K will pay 100% of your covered healthcare services for the remainder of the year.
3 Plan L has a yearly limit of $3,110 for out-of-pocket expenses.
4 Plan N will pay 100% of the Medicare Part B coinsurance, except for a copay of up to $20 for office visits and up to $50 for ER visits that do not result in admission.
These plans are standardized which means every insurance company must offer the same plan. For example, the plan G plan is the same with every insurance company, but each company sets its own rates.
Compare Medicare supplement quotes from the nation's top rated carriers for FREE.
Is it Possible to avoid Medical Underwriting outside of the Open Enrollment Period?
The short answer is YES but you must be eligible under one of the following qualifiers:
- Your state has a special enrollment time such as the birthday rule or the anniversary rule.
- Your insurance company went bankrupt or canceled your policy through no fault of your own.
- Your insurance committed fraud and you are canceling the policy.
- Your company misleads you and you decided to leave.
- You purchased a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time but decided to cancel the Medicare Advantage policy and return to Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement plan.
- You've purchased a Medicare Select plan but then moved out of the service and network area. You can switch to a standardized Medicare Supplement plan with the same or fewer basic benefits that you had in your SELECT plan.
- You enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan for less than six months. The insurance company may offer to sell you a new policy with the same basic benefits but with a waiting period of up to six months before the new plan will cover any pre-existing conditions.
Can I switch from a Medicare Supplement to a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Yes, you can switch from your Medigap plan to a Medicare Advantage plan between October 15 and December 7, which is the annual enrollment period.
Although a Medicare Advantage plan will generally provide prescription drug coverage, and a little dental, hearing, and vision coverage, it may not be the best fit for your circumstances and budget.
You might not be able to switch back to your Medicare supplement plan once you have changed to a Medicare advantage plan.
In any case, speak with our Medicare Solutions Team to get the advice you need and a verified list of the pros and cons of making a change from Medigap to Medicare Advantage.