Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D have annual election open-enrollment each year between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7th, where you can seamlessly switch from one plan to another.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans, on the other hand, do not have an annual switching period. You may have heard that switching Medigap is difficult. While this can be true, here is all the information you need to switch plans when you’re over 65 and no longer in your Medigap initial enrollment period.
Everyone Can Switch Medigap Plans By Answering Medical Questions
Whether you want to switch from Medigap Plan F to Plan G, you want to work with a different insurance company, or you want to get a better priced Medicare Supplement plan, you can do so at any time by submitting a new application.
In most states, you will have to answer medical questions and could be turned down for pre-existing conditions. That being said, some insurance companies ask fewer medical questions and have easier standards for approval than others.
If you don’t fall under one of the states that offer guaranteed switching period (see below), call us at 800-930-7956 and we can help you select the plan with the best chance of approval based on your health situation. We have had great success in this arena.
By the way, Blue Shield is offering an underwriting holiday, where you do not need to answer medical questions to switch.
Some States Allow Switching Without Medical Questions
These states have laws that will allow you to switch from one Medigap plan to another without answering medical questions. Even if you move to a new insurance company, you will be approved without medical review. Below you will find each state’s rules:
- California and Oregon have the Medigap Birthday Rule. If you are currently enrolled in a Medigap plan, you can change each year during your birth month with no medical questions asked. Learn more about the Birthday Rule here. Compare CA Medigap prices here.
- Connecticut and New York have guaranteed issuance for all at anytime. Learn more about CT’s and NY’s 100% guaranteed issuance here. Compare CT & NY Medigap prices here.
- Missouri has the Medigap Anniversary Rule. This allows you to switch during the anniversary date of when you first signed up. Learn more about MO’s Anniversary Rule here. Compare MO Medigap prices here.
- Maine allows Medigap enrollees to switch to a plan that has the same or less benefits, at any time of the year.
- Washington allows enrollees to switch from any Medigap to any other Medigap except Plan A at any time of the year. Compare WA Medigap prices here.
Other instance of states having different rules is the case of Medigap for Under 65 enrollees, where states can decide whether they can enroll and up to how much they can be charged.
Special Circumstances Equals Free Switching
All states have Medigap guaranteed issuance rules for certain circumstances after 65. See if you qualify for Special Enrollment here.
Can’t I just move from a Medigap Plan F to a Plan G with the same insurance plan?
Yes, you can. However, it usually still requires answering health questions on an application before they will approve the switch.
There are a few companies in a few states that are allowing their members to switch from F to G without review, but most still require you to apply to switch. Give us a call and we can see if your current plan will let you downgrade from F to G without medical underwriting.
Looking to Switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap?
You can do that as well but you have to do it at the right time. Read our article Can I Switch From Medicare Advantage to Medigap? to learn all about how it works.