by Russell Noga | Updated August 9th, 2023
Are you looking at taking a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap) to bolster your coverage for Original Medicare Parts A & B?
It’s a great way to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses involved with the 20% of costs not covered by Parts A & B.
Medigap plans are available to seniors over the age of 65 enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B, and they’re available from private healthcare insurers across America. However, many seniors don’t know when to register for Medigap. This post looks at the Medicare supplement enrollment period 2024.
We’ll give you all the information you need to join any Medigap plan, with any provider, without the need for medical underwriting.
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What Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
Medigap policies cover the outstanding 20% of out-of-pocket costs for Part A & B hospitalization and medical services. Many seniors don’t realize Original Medicare doesn’t pay for all their healthcare expenses until they receive an outrageous bill from a healthcare provider.
Private healthcare insurers offer Medigap plans, with ten options available. Each of the plans has a varying level of coverage, with some being fully or near-comprehensive and others providing partial coverage for Part A & B out-of-pocket costs.
While private healthcare insurers offer Medigap plans, the CMS, a federal agency, regulates the industry. The CMS ensures all providers offer the same level of coverage and benefits for Medigap policies. So, the coverage you get with a Plan N policy from UnitedHealthcare is the same as what you get with a Plan N policy from Aetna.
All Medigap plans offer the following benefits.
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs for up to 365 days after using up Medicare benefits.
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.
- Part B coinsurance or copayment.
- Blood transfusion costs for the first three pints of blood.
Plans F, G, and N offer additional Medicare Parts A & B benefits.
- Part A deductible.
- Part B excess charges (Plan N doesn’t cover these charges).
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
- 80% of emergency healthcare costs when traveling outside the US for 60 days. ($250 deductible and $50,000 maximum apply).
- Unlimited coverage for all out-of-pocket costs.
*Plan F is only available to seniors eligible for Medicare Parts A & B before January 1, 2020. If you qualify for Plan F before this date, call our agents before applying. Depending on your circumstances, you could be eligible for guaranteed issue rights, or you might have to undergo medical underwriting when applying. We can advise you on the best enrollment strategy to ensure you get the healthcare coverage you deserve.
Who Is Eligible to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans?
You’re eligible for Medigap plans when you turn 65, with the “Open Enrollment” period lasting six months from that date. You must be enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A & B to qualify for a Medigap policy.
Disabled individuals under 65 can apply for Medigap if they have a qualifying disability and have received Social Security Disability Insurance for a minimum of 24 months. People with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) qualify for the disability enrollment criteria into a Medigap plan in some states.
What Is the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period 2024
The Medigap “Open Enrollment” period is your first chance to enroll in a Medigap plan. You can choose any Medigap plan and enroll with any service provider during this time. The insurer must accept your application to join its Medigap scheme, and they can’t deny your application.
The Open Enrollment period differs from the annual enrollment period, which lasts from October 15 to December 7 each year. The annual enrollment period comes around yearly, while Open Enrollment is a one-off issue.
Why Buy a Medigap Plan During Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period 2024?
Taking advantage of the Open Enrollment period for Medigap is vital, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. During Open Enrollment, the Medigap provider may not ask you to undergo a medical underwriting. Underwriting asks you to list your pre-existing conditions so the insurer can build a risk profile for your plan and policy premiums.
If you enroll outside the Open Enrollment period, you must undergo medical underwriting, and the insurer can deny your application or charge you above-market rates for your premiums. The Open Enrollment period guarantees you a Medigap policy with any provider, and you have the option of changing plans during this period without undergoing underwriting.
What Are Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue Rights?
Medigap “guaranteed issue rights” refers to consumer protections where the Medigap provider must accept your application. They cannot ask you to undergo medical underwriting, and they can’t deny coverage or charge higher-than-average rates for your plan.
In the following scenarios, the guaranteed issue rights allow you to buy a Medigap plan without underwriting.
- You want to change from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare and Medigap within your plan’s first year of enrollment. This is your “trial rights” period.
- Your Medigap provider closes down or goes bankrupt.
- Your healthcare coverage with your employer or union plan ends.
- Your Medicare Advantage provider shuts down, or you leave the service area.
However, the Medigap provider may institute a three to six-month waiting period before activating your benefits. You won’t have any coverage during this time, but you’ll need to pay your monthly premiums.
Can You Be Denied a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Yes. The Medigap provider can deny your application. If you have pre-existing conditions and the insurers deem you a high risk, they can deny coverage when you apply outside the Open Enrollment period. The insurer can also deny coverage if you provide false information on your Medigap application.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period?
The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is a six-month period that begins when you are both 65 years old or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, you have guaranteed issue rights, which means insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or charge you higher premiums based on your health condition.
When is the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period for 2024?
The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period for 2024 starts on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. The exact dates may vary depending on your specific birth month.
Can I enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan outside of the Open Enrollment Period?
Yes, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan outside of the Open Enrollment Period. However, if you apply for a plan after your Open Enrollment Period, you may be subject to medical underwriting. This means that the insurance company can consider your health history and may charge you higher premiums or deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
What are the advantages of enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period?
Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan in 2024 during the Open Enrollment Period provides several advantages. Firstly, you have guaranteed issue rights, which means you cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums due to your health. Secondly, you have a wide range of plan options to choose from without restrictions.
What is the difference between Medicare Plan G and Plan N?
Medicare Plan G and Plan N are two popular Medigap plans. Plan G offers comprehensive coverage, including coverage for Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, excess charges, and skilled nursing facility coinsurance. Plan N has cost-sharing requirements, such as copayments for certain services. The difference in coverage helps determine the cost difference between the two plans.
Can I switch from one Medicare Supplement plan to another during the Open Enrollment Period?
Yes, you can switch from one Medicare Supplement plan to another during the Open Enrollment Period without medical underwriting. However, it’s important to compare the coverage, costs, and benefits of different plans and consult with licensed insurance agents to ensure the new plan meets your healthcare needs.
What should I consider when choosing a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period?
When choosing a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period, consider factors such as the coverage benefits, premium costs, provider networks, and customer service reputation of the insurance companies offering the plans. Additionally, consider your specific healthcare needs and budget.
Is it necessary to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period?
While it is not mandatory to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period, it is generally recommended. During this period, you have guaranteed issue rights, which means you have more flexibility in choosing a plan without worrying about being denied coverage or charged higher premiums based on your health condition.
Can I switch from Medicare Advantage to a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period?
Yes, you can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement plan during the Open Enrollment Period. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate your healthcare needs and compare the coverage, costs, and benefits of both types of plans before making a decision. It’s also advised to consult with licensed insurance agents who specialize in Medicare to ensure a smooth transition.
Where can I find more information about the Medicare Supplement OpenEnrollment Period and available plans for 2024?
To find more information about the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period and the available plans for 2024, you can visit the official Medicare website (medicare.gov). They provide detailed information about the enrollment periods, plan options, and other resources to help you make informed decisions. Additionally, you can reach out to licensed insurance agents who specialize in Medicare to get personalized guidance and assistance in selecting the right Medicare Supplement plan for your needs.
Call Us for More Information About Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period 2024
If you want more information on enrolling in Medicare supplement plans, call our team at 1-888-891-0229. We offer free consultations on Medigap plans and enrollment and free quotes with the best rates from providers in your state. If you can’t call us right now, leave your details on our contact form, and we’ll get a Medigap expert to call you back.
Russell Noga is the CEO of Medisupps.com, an online Medicare Agency and resource center helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medigap and Part D drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans since 2009. Russell is licensed in all 50 states and has been featured as a keynote speaker, and author of several publications, along with hosting the very popular Medisupps.com Youtube channel.