Medigap, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, can help cover the out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Medigap policies are offered by private insurance companies and can be purchased by individuals enrolled in Original Medicare.
The Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is a specific time frame during which individuals enrolled in Original Medicare can purchase a Medigap policy without undergoing medical underwriting. This means that during the Medigap OEP, insurance companies must offer under federal law a Medigap policy to any individual who applies and meets the eligibility requirements, regardless of their health status or pre-existing conditions.
When is the Open Enrollment Period
The Medigap OEP begins on the first day of the month when an individual is 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B. This period lasts six months and is known as the Medigap “birthday rule.” During this time, individuals can enroll in a Medigap policy without having to answer any questions about their health or medical history.
It is important to note that the Medigap OEP only applies to purchase a Medigap policy. It does not apply to enrollment in Original Medicare coverage (Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) & Medicare Part B (Medical Services)) or purchasing a Medicare Advantage plan.
After the Medigap OEP ends, individuals may still be able to buy a Medigap policy, but they may be subject to medical underwriting. The Medigap insurers may ask about an individual’s health history and deny coverage or charge a higher premium based on their present health problems.
Individuals are generally recommended to enroll in a Medigap policy during their Medigap Open Enrollment to avoid potential medical underwriting and to ensure they can choose from all available Medigap policies.
It is also essential to carefully consider the various Medigap policy options and choose the one that best meets an individual’s needs and budget. Medigap policies are standardized, meaning each policy must offer the same essential benefits. Still, the premiums and other out-of-pocket costs may vary significantly from one company to another.
Please keep in mind that the Medigap open enrollment period has nothing to do with the Medicare advantage plan open enrollment period.
Overall, the Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a significant opportunity for individuals enrolled in Original Medicare to purchase a Medigap policy without undergoing medical underwriting. It is essential to carefully consider the various options and choose the policy that best meets an individual’s needs and budget.
What is the Next Step
Brian Gruss is a Licensed Insurance Agent, has been specializing in the Medicare market since 2007, and is ready and willing to answer any questions you might have and find you the Medicare supplemental policy that fits your specific needs. Give him a call or text today at 352-508-4221