Priscilla Wright

(657) 205-1081

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment is a one-time window during which you can enroll in any Medicare Supplement policy. You will not have to answer any medical questions. The Medicare Supplement insurance companies cannot turn you down during your personal Medigap open enrollment period.

However, this period last for only 6 months, so be sure not to miss it unless you have other creditable coverage. Missing this Medigap open enrollment period (OEP) can have lifelong consequences in the form of higher premiums and limited coverage options.

It is important to know, your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is not the same as the open enrollment period that happens each fall, which is a common source of confusion. Open Enrollment dates for Medicare supplements vary for each person. Read on for details.

Facts about the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement Plans
•Only occurs once for most people. It is not annual.
•Last for six months and then it is gone
•Once its gone, you must answer health questions to change plans in most states
•People on Medicare under age 65 will get a rare second open enrollment for Medicare supplement later when they turn 65

Unfortunately, federal law does not require Medigap insurance carriers to you except in certain situations. These policies are optional supplemental coverage so carriers can accept or decline you once your one-time OEP ends.

So if you don’t take advantage of your Medigap open enrollment window, you could find later on that you can’t medically qualify for a policy.

For this reason, it is often your best be to enroll during your personal Medigap OEP.

Elderly Man and His Friends

How Long is my Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment?

Your personal Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period begins on the first day that your Part B becomes effective. If your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage start on June 1st, then your personal enrollment period lasts for exactly 6 months and ends on November 30th.

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For most people this occurs at age 65 when they age into Medicare. However, some people delay enrollment into Part B while they are still working. Later when they retire and enroll in Part B, they will activate their Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment.

Some people qualify for Medicare early due to disability. These people will get an initial six-month open enrollment period starting with the Part B effective date. Later when they turn 65, they will get a second 6-month window.

This is because in many states people under age 65 do not have access to all Medicare supplements. For example, in Texas, the law only requires carriers to offer Medigap Plan A to people under 65. The law allows them a second chance at 65 when they can be assured to have access to more comprehensive Medicare Supplement plans like Plan F and Plan G.

Pre-65 Window to Apply for a Medicare Supplement

Also, we should mention that if you have applied for Medicare early and you already know your Medicare claim number, you can submit your Medigap application well in advance of your Part B effective date.

The insurance company will still treat it as your Medigap open enrollment and process it with no health questions asked. We often have clients who lock in their Medigap plan several months in advance of their birthday month. There’s no need to wait until you turn 65.

Once you have applied for Medicare and receive your Medicare ID card in the mail, you can contact us to sign up for your Medigap plan. It can go into effect on the same day that your Medicare Part B starts.

What about the Annual Open Enrollment in the Fall?

Thousands of Medicare beneficiaries every year mistakenly believe they can apply for a Medicare supplement plan without health questions during the Fall Annual Election Period. This is incorrect, and comes as a rude awakening for people who didn’t do their research ahead of time.

The Open Enrollment period in the fall only applies to Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Around here, we call it the Annual Election Period (AEP) instead, to help our clients differentiate between the two very different periods.

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The AEP runs from October 15th – December 7th every year. During this time, people can join or leave their Part D drug plan. They can switch from one plan to another. They can do the same with Medicare Advantage plans. The AEP is a time when you can get into or get out of a Medicare Advantage plan.

The AEP does NOT give you a free pass into a Medicare supplement without having to answer health questions. As we stated earlier, you can apply for a new Medicare Supplement plan any time of year, but in most states you must answer health questions and pass medical underwriting to be approved.

What others have said

"I am so thankful for the wonderful service and knowledge that Priscilla had on these very complicated Medicare issues!" - Mike S.

"If is was not for Priscilla I would have had no idea which Medicare Plans to have choosen!" - Gloria D.