In most cases, you can add a Medigap policy at any time, but sometimes are better than others. Below we review when you can add Medigap without answering health questions and when health questions are required.
The Best Time to Add Medigap
The best time to enroll in a Medigap policy is during your Initial enrollment period which is often times called Medigap’s Open Enrollment Period. This period is usually the first time you are eligible for Medicare. It lasts for six months and begins on the first day of the month in which you’re both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
During this period, you have the guaranteed right to buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, regardless of your health status. Sign up for Medigap during this time and you will be approved- no (health) questions asked. If you delay enrolling in Medigap Part B, your initial enrollment gets pushed back as well. (Source)
Add Medigap at Any Time (but with underwriting)
If you miss your Medigap Open Enrollment Period listed above, you may still be able to enroll in a Medigap policy, but you may be subject to medical underwriting. This means that the insurance company can consider your health status and may charge you a higher premium or deny coverage altogether based on your health. If you are approved, your Medigap plan will usually start on the first of the month following your applications but not always. Contact Senior65.com at 800-930-7956 to learn more about the timing of your start date.
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Special enrollment times where you can Add Medigap without underwriting
There are also some circumstances where you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in a Medigap policy without medical underwriting outside your initial enrollment. Common examples of SEPs are if you lose work coverage or move out of your current Medicare Advantage plan’s service area.
There are several special enrollment situations that allow you to enroll in a Medigap policy outside of the regular enrollment periods without being subject to medical underwriting. These special enrollment situations include:
- Medigap Guaranteed Issue Rights: You have guaranteed issue rights if you lose other health coverage (other than voluntary drug coverage), if your Medicare Advantage plan leaves Medicare or if you move out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s service area, if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and it is no longer renewing its contract, or if your employer group health plan coverage ends. Learn more about Medigap Guaranteed Issue Right
- Medigap Under 65: In some states, individuals under the age of 65 who qualify for Medicare due to disability or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) may have guaranteed issue rights to enroll in a Medigap policy. Learn more about Medigap under 65
- Medicare Advantage Trial Period: If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time and disenroll within the first 12 months, you may have a special enrollment period to enroll in a Medigap policy. Learn more about Medicare Advantage Trial Period
- State laws for Medigap with no underwriting: Certain State laws allow you to enroll in Medigap without Medical underwriting. Learn more about states that allow for Medigap with no underwriting
- Medigap Underwriting Holiday: A few insurance providers allow for a certain period for enrollment in Medigap without health review. Learn More about Medigap Underwriting Holiday here.
Next Steps for adding Medigap
Each special enrollment situation has specific eligibility requirements and timeframes, so please research each situation to determine if you qualify for a special enrollment period to enroll in a Medigap policy. Call Senior65.com at 800-930-7956 and our team can help you confirm when the best time for you to enroll in Medigap and provide prices from top insurance carriers.
In summary, while you can generally enroll in a Medigap policy at any time, it’s usually best to enroll during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period to ensure you have access to all plans and are not subject to medical underwriting.
Note: Most insurance companies that offer Medigap require that it starts on the first of the month, so you can add Medigap at any time but usually the earliest it will be effective is the first of the month following your application.