Medigap Open Enrollment vs Guaranteed Issuance Period

Learn which Medigap enrollment period you qualify for

by Amy De Vore+ on Sep 01, 2016 | 8 Comments

Medigap has two types of enrollment that do not require you to answer medical questions. These periods of time are called a few different names, which can be confusing. Let us break it down for you, so that understand the different terms and their rules.

This article was written on May 19, 2015 and was updated on the date above.

Medigap Open Enrollment

We choose to call Medigap’s Open Enrollment period your, “initial enrollment.” The reason we call it your “initial enrollment” is many people confuse the term “Medigap Open Enrollment” with the “Medicare Open Enrollment” period. Open Enrollment Medicare allows someone to change their Medicare drug or Medicare Advantage plan each year, whereas Medigap’s Open Enrollment generally only allows you ONE guaranteed enrollment period*, regardless of preexisting conditions.This is a 6 month period begins when you’re first turn 65 or older and first eligible for Medicare Part B (usually begins the first day of the month you turn 65). At this time, you can enroll in any plan available in your area. Looking for more information about Medicare Open Enrollment? Click the button below.

Learn More about Open Enrollment

*In some states, like California, there is a 30 day Medigap birthday rule that allows you to switch Medigap plans to an equal or lesser value than your current Medigap plan during your birth month (without answering medical questions).

Medigap Guaranteed Issuance Period

The Medigap Guaranteed Issuance Period is generally a 63 day period, starting with your qualifying event. This period is also called your Special Enrollment Period. At this time, you have certain rights to enroll in a new Medigap plan without having to answer medical questions, as well as, an insurance company cannot apply a preexisting waiting period. Here are some of the circumstances that qualify you:

Read the article Medigap: 7 Ways to Qualify for Guaranteed Issuance to learn more about guaranteed issuance and open enrollment periods.

4 Medigap Plans Not Qualified for Guaranteed Issue

Medigap Plans D, G, M, and N are NOT guaranteed during Guaranteed Issuance Period/Special Enrollment Period (they are allowed during your initial/open enrollment). These plans will require you to answer medical questions.

As you can see, Medigap enrollment has very specific time frames and rules, that you’ll want to adhere to in order enroll in the best plan for you. For further questions call 800-930-7956 or click here to get a Medigap quote.

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Reader Comments and Questions

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By TJ on September 17, 2017

If I have Medicare A and B starting Nov. 1, Can I sign up for medigap before my birthday month of Nov., to avoid any lapse in coverage

YES! You can enroll today and request a 11/1 start date. Give us a call and we can assist you over the phone.
-Chris from

By Paula on May 15, 2017

Hello, My dad is now 71. When he signed up for Medicare, we did not know that there's a gap in coverage therefore we did not buy any supplemental insurance. How do I go about in finding a supplemental insurance for him to help pay for his medical cost? He has health issues as well, will I be able to secure a supplemental health insurance for him? Please respond as soon as possible. I am taking my dad to a new doctor tomorrow. Thank you very much. Have a great week.

We'd be happy to help you find a Medicare Supplement plan for your father. While preexisting conditions can raise the premium cost or cause the plan to deny him, our Senior65 licensed independent agents know which Medigap providers offer more lenient applications. Give us a call at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from

By val on March 29, 2017

Quick question. I am checking for relative. She is now 68 yo but will be signing up for Medicare Part B this May due to retirement. She would like to join Medigap G policy. Can she be refused this policy or made to go into underwriting? I would think she should qualify for Medigap Open Enrollment + Guaranteed Issuance. I see that Plans D, G, M, & N are not guaranteed issuance but this is her Medigap Open Enrollment Period. Please advise. Thanks

If she had creditable coverage and delayed Part B, she will be able to have enroll in any Medigap plan. Since this sounds like her case, she should be in her initial/open enrollment period. Have her call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from

By Billy Dee on January 09, 2017

Within that 6-month Open Enrollment Period, can I switch Medigap plans or companies as many times as I like with the last one that I enroll in being the one that sticks? Also, if I choose one plan with a certain company (Plan F Humana) but it has not yet gone into effect, can I switch to a cheaper plan or another company with no medical underwriting as long as I am still within my 6-month Open Enrollment Period and the Humana plan hasn't started yet?

You are correct! You can switch your Medigap plan as many times as you want during your initial enrollment period. For help finding the least expensive Medigap plan in your area call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from

By Randy on December 08, 2015

I turned 65 on September 1, 2015. Because I was born on the first of the month Medicare required me to file and begin taking my Medicare (A & B) benefits a month early on August 1, 2015. So my question is this: When does my 6 month clock start "ticking" for Medigap's initial enrollment period? On August 1 when I first starting getting Medicare benefits or September 1 when I turned 65?

Your Medicare Supplement (Medigap) initial enrollment period began on August 1st. Please call 800-930-7956 if you would like help find a Medigap plan in your area.
-Eric from

By Linda on September 30, 2015

I joined a MA plan when I first became eligible for medicare, and am still in my first year Medicare Trial Period. It was my understanding that I can switch to any medigap policy (including plan G) during this time. Is this correct?

Linda, -Amy from

By Jackie on June 10, 2015

This is really helpful. I had no idea that there were plans you couldn't enroll in during "guaranteed issuance". Good to know since I will be retiring in September and will need a Medigap policy.

By Valerie L on April 17, 2015

Doesn't Medigap have open enrollment every year in december?

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, Medigap doesn't have an Open Enrollment period each year. We suggest if you want Medigap, enroll when you're first eligible. Hope this helps.

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