Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

Medicare Supplement Enrollment Period

The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment, is the best time to sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan. Don't confuse this with the Annual Medicare Advantage and Part D open Enrollment that you hear about every fall.  To discuss any Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment questions you might have, call us at 844-528-8688there is never a fee for our services.  Please continue reading for an explanation of the best time to signup for a Medicare Supplement plan.

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open enrollment for medicare supplement

The open enrollment period is the time when you can enroll into a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) with no underwriting.  This is period starts the first day of the month that you turn 65 or enrolled in Medicare Part B and lasts for 6 months.

Example


 

Your 65th birthday is June 16th, your Medicare will start June 1st and your Medicare supplement open enrollment will run through November.  

The only way this would be different is if your birthday was on the first of the month, your Medicare would then start the first of the month prior.  This would make your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment start date the month prior also.

Example


 

Your 65th birthday is June 1st, your Medicare will start May 1st.  

Preexisting Condition Waiting Period

If you have not had continuous health insurance coverage for 63 days prior to your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment, the Medicare Supplement Plan can refuse to pay for any treatment of the preexisting condition for 6 months.  

Once that six month period is over they must cover all conditions.  This is all avoided if you have had 63 days of continuous creditable coverage, such as group coverage from an employer or an individual plan like the ACA (Obamacare).

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medicare supplement open enrollment dates

In many states you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan six (6) months prior to the effective date.  There are some some exceptions to this rule.

  • Connecticut has a year round open enrollment and you may submit applications up to 60 days prior to the requested effective date.
  • Maine:  May submit an application up to 60 days prior to coverage effective date
  • Missouri:  May submit an application up to 60 days prior to coverage effective date
  • Washington:  May submit an application up to 60 days prior to coverage effective date
  • West Virginia:  May submit an application up to 90 days prior to coverage effective date
  • Wisconsin:  May submit an application up to 90 days prior to coverage effective date

State Specific Open Enrollment Dates

Some states offer other enrollment periods outside of the general Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment. With these periods, you normally must choose a plan of equal or lesser benefits, such as a Medicare Supplement Plan G to a Medicare Supplement Plan N or a Medigap Plan G to a Medigap Plan G.

  • California:  Has what is commonly called the "Birthday Rule", this is a Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment which 30 days before the individual's birthday and lasts until 30 days after.
  • Connecticut:  Has a Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period year round.  Beneficiaries can enroll or change their Medigap plan at any time.  The Premiums for Medicare Supplement plans in CT are community rated and are not based on health history or age.
  • Missouri:  Individuals who terminate their Medicare Supplement policy within 30 of the anniversary date of the policy may obtain the same plan with no health questions asked for a period of 63 days.  Annually on the anniversary date of the Medicare Supplement Plan.
  • Maine:  You may change plans with no medical questions for the same plan or one of lesser benefits, providing you have not had a break in Medicare Supplement coverage of 90 days.
  • New York:  Year-round open enrollment
  • Oregon:  Has what is commonly called the "Birthday Rule", this is a Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period last 60 days.  It is 30 days before and ends 30 days after an individuals birthday.
  • Vermont:  Has a year-round Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment.
  • Washington:  You may change plans on an Open Enrollment basis at any time.  Persons with a Medicare Supplement Plan A may only move to another Plan A.  Persons with a Plan B, C, D, E, F, G, M or N may move to any other plan B-N whether higher or lower in benefits compared to the current plan.

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Open Enrollment and Tobacco Ratings

For the most part the Medicare Supplement Plan Open Enrollment means that the Medicare Supplement provider must accept you without any underwriting.  

This is true except when it comes to Tobacco rates, in the map below the states that are in red are states that will allow you to be charged more for tobacco usage during the open enrollment.

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

Trial Right Enrollment Period

Another type of Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment or Guaranteed Issue period is the "Trial Right".  If you joined a Medicare Advantage Plan when you were first eligible for Medicare Part A at age 65, and you are within the first year of joining, you may switch back to original Medicare.

As early as 60 days before the date your Advantage plan ends but no later than 63 days after the coverage ends, you may chose any Medicare Supplement Plan sold in your state with any insurance company with no underwriting. 

Also if you have dropped a Medicare Supplmeent policy to join a Medicare Advantage Plan or have switched to a Medicare Select Plan, for the first time and you have been in that plan less than a year you may switch back.

You will only be able to switch to the same plan that you had before you joined the Advantage or Select policy and with the same Insurance company.  You can change as early as 60 days before the coverage ends but no later than 63 days after it ends.

Enrollment Period Summary

In short, the best time to enroll into a Medicare Supplemental insurance policy is at least 90 days before your Part B effective date.  

I know this information can be confusing but we are here to help.  Call us anytime at 844-528-8688 and we will be happy to guide you through the process.  There is never a fee for our services and as an Independent Medicare Supplement Agency, our loyalty is to you, not some insurance company.

You can also contact us by email on our "Contact Us" page or use the handy online chat feature in the corner of this page.

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