Medicare has a variety of enrollment periods.
There’s one when you first come on Medicare, and then there’s one every October towards the end of the year.
Well, there’s also a different enrollment period for Medigap or Medicare Supplement Insurance when you get enrolled in Medicare that you don’t want to miss!
So today I’m going to be covering the 6-month Medigap open enrollment period, as well as when you can switch your Medicare Supplement Plan during the year.
And here’s a hint: You don’t have to wait until October to switch!
Click below to learn more!
The 6-month Medigap open enrollment period ties right into your regular Medicare open enrollment period.
So I’ll start with that because it also covers the basics of Medicare.
When you are just turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare, you’re going to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.
Some people just have Part A, but then we’re not talking about Medigap Plans, because to have a Medigap Plan, you need something to supplement it including Part B as well.
So to have a Medigap plan you need both Part A and Part B.
However, the period to enroll in Part A and Part B is what’s called a Medicare initial enrollment period.
That happens three months before the month of your birthday when you’re turning 65, and then three months after that month as well. This is to enroll in:
- Medicare Part A
- Medicare Part B
- Part D drug plan
But, that’s not a Medigap enrollment period, that’s just to enroll in those parts of Medicare. Again you have 7 months total to enroll in these.
If you are drawing a social security check already, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B three months from the month you turn age 65.
If you are not drawing a check you can enroll online by clicking HERE.
You are given six months to enroll in a Medigap plan with no medical questions asked, starting from your Medicare Part B effective date.
During this time you may choose any company and plan letter and you are guaranteed coverage.
If you have a medical condition that might cause a decline with some of these companies, it will be entirely waived during this period. So don’t miss it!
With most companies, you can also apply for a Medigap plan anywhere from 3-6 months prior to your Medicare effective date.
Now I hear a lot, “Well, Russell, I was just going to start my Medicare Supplement Plan the same day as my Medicare.”
And most people do, to be quite honest. But you can enroll earlier and should.
But again for you folks who have medical conditions, this can become extremely important because that is a time period you don’t want to miss if you think you’re going to be declined for coverage.
That’s why the government gives you this time period and says, “Here are your six months to come aboard, and you can get any Medicare Supplement Plan with any company. No questions asked.”
Why is this important?
Well unfortunately over the last 11 years, I’ve had a number of phone calls, as have my agents, of people even the day after their six-month period ends, wanting a Medigap Plan and unfortunately had a condition that was a decline and we couldn’t get them approved.
Some of them literally one day after their six-month period ended!
And it’s heartbreaking because they had a full six months to get the coverage.
So, if you have any friends or family who is coming up on Medicare who might have a serious medical condition that you think might be a decline, have them call us right away!
Our phone number is 1-888-891-0229
Medicare Open Enrollment Period
I’ll talk about another open enrollment period, which is the Medicare open enrollment period, which happens every October through December.
That’s probably the one you were thinking of as most people do when you say Medicare open enrollment period.
During that time, which is October 15th through December 7th is actually called the Annual Election Period, or AEP for short.
However, even CMS and the government now just call it the Medicare open enrollment period.
Keep in mind, your Medicare Supplement plan can be changed anytime during the year. You do not have to wait until this enrollment period.
In fact, we change at least 10 people a day to a different supplement company to save them money when they get a rate increase, and we do this every month of the year.
So what can you change during the Medicare open enrollment period?
Well, there are a few different things that can be changed during that time.
If you have an Advantage Plan and you want to change to a different Advantage Plan, you’d make that change during this time period.
Or, if you have a Medigap Plan and you want to go to an Advantage Plan, you would make this change then as well.
Also, if you’ve got an Advantage Plan and you want to return to Original Medicare and get on a Medigap Plan, that’s the time to do it.
And each year around June or July, people start calling us wanting to switch off their Medicare Advantage plans. We have a list ready to go for October 1st.
A lot of the carriers will let us submit the applications then, where we’re going to change them from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to the original Medicare and onto a Medigap Plan.
Medicare Open Enrollment Period 2021
So we are coming up on the Medicare open enrollment period for 2024.
And if that is you and you want to switch off your Medicare Advantage plan and back to Original Medicare and a Medigap Plan, call us now so we can easily do that for you.
Underwriting departments from all the carriers become extremely busy starting in September, believe it or not, even with just the questions they get asked and preparing for it all.
We’ll help find you the best Medigap Plan for the lowest premiums and answer any questions you have about a Part D drug plan.
Give us a call now to get started!
Russell Noga is the CEO and Medicare editor of Medisupps.com. His 15 years of experience in the Medicare insurance market includes being a licensed Medicare insurance broker in all 50 states. He is frequently featured as a featured as a keynote Medicare event speaker, has authored hundreds of Medicare content pages, and hosts the very popular Medisupps.com Medicare Youtube channel. His expertise includes Medicare, Medigap insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Part D.