Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period
The best time to purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance policy (also called a Medigap policy)
is during your Medigap open enrollment period. This 6
month period begins on the first day of the month in which you are both
age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. Once you enroll in Part
B, your Medicare Supplement open enrollment period begins and cannot be
changed. During this period, an insurance company cannot use medical
underwriting. This means they can't refuse to sell you any Medigap
policy that they offer, make you wait for coverage to start, or charge you
more for a Medigap policy because of past or present health problems.
Please note that you are allowed to apply early, before your Medicare Supplement open enrollment period starts. You should not wait until your health coverage has almost ended. This will allow you to have continuous coverage.
What if I Miss The Medigap Open Enrollment Period? Can I Still Apply?
Understanding the open enrollment period is very important. During this period, you have the right to purchase any Medigap policy a company sells. If you apply for Medicare Supplement insurance after your Medigap open enrollment period has expired, an insurance company is allowed to use medical underwriting in most instances to approve coverage and to determine the price of the policy. Even if approved, your choices will likely be limited. There are however certain specific situations where you may have the right to buy Medicare supplement insurance after your open enrollment period has ended. In these situations you have guaranteed issue rights (also called "Medigap protections").
What are Guaranteed Issue Rights?
Guaranteed issue rights (or Medigap protections) are granted in certain situations. In these instances, insurance companies are required by law to offer you Medicare Supplement insurance, even if you have health problems. More Information.