What’s the Best Time to Buy a Medigap Policy?

The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Initial Enrollment Period (not to be confused with Open Enrollment Period) beginning on the first day of the month in which you’re at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Your initial enrollment period lasts six months, and cannot be changed once it begins. During this six-month period, an insurance company cannot deny you coverage, place special conditions or restrictions on a policy, or charge you more because of past or present health problems.

If you have pre-existing conditions and purchase your Medigap policy during your Initial Enrollment Period, your insurance company is required to shorten the waiting period for pre-existing conditions by the amount of time you’ve had previous health coverage (“creditable coverage”).

If you have group health coverage through your or your spouse’s employer, your Initial Enrollment Period will begin when you enroll in Medicare Part B.
Additional Medigap Enrollment Periods may be available in some states.

If you do not purchase a Medigap policy during your Initial Enrollment Period, your future options to purchase a policy may be limited. You may also be required to pay more.

If you’re under 65:

Some states require Medigap insurance companies to sell Medigap policies to eligible individuals under age 65. Federal law, however, has no such requirement, so if you’re under 65 you may not be able to purchase a Medigap policy.

Keep in mind:

By law, an insurer cannot sell you a Medigap policy while you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If you have a Medigap policy and join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may keep your Medigap policy. However, you will not be able to use it for any Medicare-covered services unless you return to Original Medicare. Although your Medigap policy may be helpful in covering some services not normally covered by Medicare, a Medigap policy is likely to be of limited use as long as you remain in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If you have further questions about Medigap or any other aspect of Medicare, contact MedicareMall now and let us lead you with confidence through the Medicare maze!

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