We get a variety of questions asked here at Medisupps.com, and many of them are about changing Medicare plans.
Many people want to know:
- Can I change to a different Medigap Plan?
- When do I switch?
- When can I leave my advantage plan?
So I decided to write this article to help clear up one of the most asked questions which are…
“Can I change from Medicare Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement Plan?”
You can absolutely change from a Medicare advantage plan to a Medicare supplement plan, however, there are only certain time periods during the year that you can do it.
My name is Russell Noga, and I’m the founder of Medisupps.com.
This website has many different articles on it that explore a number of different topics regarding Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Part D drug plans.
We’re an independent online insurance agency helping people get the best Medicare Supplement Insurance for the lowest premiums now, and for years to come when you get a rate increase.
So be sure to check out all our articles and videos, and just know the easiest way to get answers is to just give us a call!
Click below to learn more!
Medicare Advantage Plans
Now, you may end up on an Advantage Plan when you first turn 65 or first come on to Medicare, because maybe saw a commercial on TV that promised a zero premium and zero cost.
In fact you might have even seen ole’ Broadway Joe Namath getting paid to tell you how great they are!
Let’s start with exactly what happened before you even enrolled in the Advantage Plan
Before you enrolled in the plan, you signed up for Medicare Part A and Part B. Whether you kept it or not, you still had to start there.
And then you went to Medicare or somebody who sold you the Advantage Plan and said, “I would like to opt-out of Medicare Part A and B.”
You basically opted out of Medicare Part A and Part B.
Now you still pay the Part B premium when enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, and these plans are offered by a number of different insurance carriers.
Medicare Advantage 12-Month Trial Right
Many people don’t realize that they have the opportunity to get out of their Advantage Plan within the first 12 months of first trying it.
You have what is called a 12-month trial right period, where if you’re not happy for any reason within the first 12 months, you can go back to Original Medicare and then enroll in a Medigap Plan.
How do I know this? Well, we get the phone calls from people desperately wanting off their advantage plans!
People are saying, “I want one of the Medigap plans I saw on your website because I tried the Advantage Plan and I didn’t like it.”
This actually happens quite a bit. Now I’m not saying advantage plans don’t have their uses, but if you’re reading this now and you’re like one of the people I just mentioned, you’re in the right place!
If you want the best coverage, and the freedom to go to any doctor, specialist, or hospital anywhere in the country then Original Medicare and a Medigap plan are definitely the way to go.
Medicare Supplement Plans – No Network
There are no networks with a Medicare Supplement Plan.
Now, aside from that trial right, maybe there’s a lot of you out there who wonder, “can I switched from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Also, but I’m outside that first 12 months, that trial right?”
Well, yes, you absolutely can. However, you have to wait until what is known as the Medicare open enrollment period.
Technically, it’s called the Annual Election Period or AEP.
And a lot of different changes can happen only during that period, and then those changes go into effect the following January 1st.
This annual election period runs from October 15th through December 7th.
This of course is the busiest time of year that has us moving people from things like Advantage Plans back to Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plans.
If you’re outside your 12 months initial trial right for Medicare advantage, then this is the only time you can switch from a Medicare advantage plan to a Medicare supplement plan.
There are a few other changes that can also be made during that time, including change your part D drug plan if you have a separate one, or you have one along with a Medigap plan.
Changing Medicare Supplement Plans
We’re an independent brokerage like I mentioned, which means we shop for all the top companies.
Once you get back on Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan specifically, you may change your Medicare supplement at any time during the year.
Many carriers will provide you with a one-year lock-in on your rate. This means once per year you will likely get a rate increase.
At that point, it’s extremely important that you have agents like us on your side to continue to shop the rates for you.
Changing Plans and Qualifying
To change Medicare supplement plans you must answer medical questions on the new company’s application if you are outside your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period.
Each company has different underwriting guidelines, and some are more strict than others.
For example, when it comes to major medical conditions like heart attacks and cancer, one company might want you to be clear of those for 2 years, and another might be 5 years.
We have a very good idea of which company you will qualify with, given our experience over the last 11 years.
Once you apply for new coverage you never cancel your old policy until we let you know the new one is issued.
Because Medigap plans are all the same, there’s never a good reason to pay any more than you should!
So can I change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Medicare Supplement Enrollment
And now you know when you can change also. However, regardless of what time of year it is now when you’re reading this, give us a call.
We can introduce ourselves and get you set up and get our time period straight to make that change. And we’ll check all the rates and compare the options with you.
We’re a small group here at Medisupps.com, but we provide a big service.
Call us now at 1-888-891-0229 to get started!