There is a lot of confusion about switching Medigap plans so we aim to provide the complete details in one place. Whether you want to switch to a different Medigap insurance company or stay with the same company but switch plans (eg. Medigap F to Medigap G), you have come to the right place. We will also go over unique switching rules for your state. You may have heard that switching Medigap is difficult. While this can be true, here is all the information you need to switch Medigap plans.
Medigap Open Enrollment?
Does Medigap have an annual Open Enrollment where you can switch plans without answering health questions? Not in most states. You are allowed to switch your Medigap plan any month you would like but it usually requires filling out a new application and answering health questions. A few states like Massachusetts have an annual Medigap open enrollment switching time but most do not!
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans have annual election open enrollment each year between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7th, where you can seamlessly switch from one plan to another. This is called Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) but many people mistakenly call it Medicare’s “Open Enrollment.” AEP is only for Medicare Advantage or Part D drug plan switching. Just to be clear, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans do not have an annual switching period in Oct-Dec.
To add to the confusion, there is something called “Medigap Open Enrollment” but it is not an annual event. Medigap Open Enrollment is what some in the insurance industry call the one-time initial enrollment period that takes place the first time when you are both over 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. We prefer to call it “Medigap Initial Enrollment” since many people assume open enrollment happens every year. During this initial Open Enrollment period, you have 6 months to enroll in any Medigap plan regardless of your health. If you pick a plan during this initial open enrollment period and do not like it, you can switch to a second plan no questions asked as long as you do so within your first 6 months of eligibility. Click here to see if there is a lower-cost Medigap plan in your area.
Everyone Can Switch Medigap Plans By Answering Medical Questions
Whether you want to switch from Medigap Plan F to Plan G, work with a different insurance company, or just 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 on the application 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 are approved for a new plan, it typically starts the first of the month following your application.
Call us at 800-930-7956 and we can help you select the Medigap plan with the best chance of approval based on your health situation. We have had great success in this arena.
But before you try to switch Medigap plans by answering questions, see if you live in a state that does not require it or if you qualify for guaranteed switching through special enrollment as outlined below. We have also written a very detailed guide on every Medicare Insurance switching option with no health questions.
Some Companies allow you to enroll in Medigap without a health review
Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL allows you to apply for Medigap without going through medical underwriting. Currently, their application doesn’t ask one health question so all Illinois residents who are Medicare eligible will be approved for Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap
Blue Shield of CA often has a special promotion that allows people to enroll in their Medigap Plan G without going through underwriting. This promotion is called the Underwriting holiday and is only available to those in CA. Learn more about BLUE SHIELD CA Underwriting Holiday here.
Some States Allow Medigap Switching Without Medical Questions
These states have laws that will allow you to change Medicare supplement plans without underwriting. Below you will find information on each state’s rules:
- California, Oklahoma, Oregon, Illinois, Idaho, Louisiana, and Nevada have the Medigap Birthday Rule. If you are currently enrolled in a Medigap plan, you can change to a different Medigap plan each year around your birth month with no medical questions asked using a state-specific birthday rule. Learn more about all the Medigap Birthday Rules here.
- Connecticut and New York make changing Medicare supplement plans easy. Both states have guaranteed issuance for all at any time. 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 30 days before and 30 days after the anniversary date of when you first signed up. Learn more about MO’s Anniversary Rule here. Compare Missouri’s Medigap prices here.
- Massachusetts has an annual Medigap open enrollment switching period from February 1 – March 31
- Maine allows Medigap enrollees to switch to a plan that has the same or fewer benefits, at any time of the year. Call 800-930-7956 for assistance.
- 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.
Medigap for Under 65 enrollees has different rules where states can decide whether they can enroll and how much they can be charged.
Special Circumstances Can Equal Free Switching
All states have Medigap-guaranteed issuance rules for certain circumstances. These are usually called Medigap Special Enrollment or Special Circumstances. See if you qualify for Medigap Special Enrollment here.
Can’t I just move from a Medigap Plan F to a Plan G with the same insurance plan?
Many people contact us and ask, “Can I switch from plan F to plan G without underwriting?” Switching from F to G 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.
Check Out our Newest Resource for Switching
The Ultimate Medicare Insurance Switching Guide shows you every Medicare Insurance switching option in every state on one clean chart. You asked for it so we did it! Click the link above for the latest on every way to change your insurance.
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