There is a lot of confusion about switching Medicare Supplement plans (AKA Medigap) 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.

switching Medigap plan

Note: This article assumes you already have a Medigap plan.  Click here if you are trying to switch to Medigap from Medicare Advantage.   If you are still weighing your options, check out our Pros and Cons of Medigap article.

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The four main ways to switch Medigap plans

  1. Switch Medigap at any time but you could be turned down due to pre-existing conditions
  2. Switch Medigap plans if your state has special rules
  3. Switch Medigap if you qualify for special circumstances 
  4. Switch Medigap if there is a special promotion in your area 

Scroll down to see each option from above explained in detail. 

Can’t I Switch During Medigap Open Enrollment?

In most states, Medigap DOES NOT have an annual Open Enrollment where you can switch plans without 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 it is usually the first time most people enroll in Medigap and it doesn’t apply it’s an annual event.  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 the Medigap Initial 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.

1. Everyone Can Switch Medigap Plans By Answering Medical Questions.

Whether you want to switch from Medi Supp 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 or charged more for pre-existing conditions.  This is called Medical Underwriting. It is important to note that some insurance companies ask fewer medical questions and have easier standards for approval than others.  If you are approved for a new plan whether you go through Medical Underwriting or not, your new coverage typically starts the first of the month following your application.

Call us at 800-930-7956 and we can help you select the Med Supp plan with the best chance of approval based on your health situation. We have had great success in this arena. We can typically help you apply right over the phone. 

But before you try to switch Medigap plans by answering questions, first 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.

2. 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:

Medigap for Under 65 enrollees has different rules where states can decide whether they can enroll and how much they can be charged.

3. Special Circumstances Can Equal Free Switching

All states have Medigap-guaranteed issuance rules for certain circumstances for example you were misled when you first enrolled in a plan. These situations are fairly rare and are usually called Medigap Special Enrollment or Special Circumstances. This means no Medical Underwriting for those who qualify.  Learn more about Medigap Special Enrollment here.

4. Some Companies Have Special Promotions to Enroll in Medigap Without a Health Review

Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL allows you to apply for certain Medigap plans without going through Medical Underwriting.  Currently, their Medigap G Plus application doesn’t ask one health question so all Illinois residents who are Medicare eligible will be approved for that Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap plan. 

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 California.  Learn more about BLUE SHIELD CA Underwriting Holiday here.

Can’t I Just Move from Medigap Plan F to Plan G with the Same Insurance Company?

Many people contact and ask, “Can I switch from plan F to plan G without underwriting?”  Switching from F to G, even with the same insurance provider, 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 health review, but most still require Medical Underwriting 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 switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap have to do it at the right time and it may require Medical Underwriting. Read our Senior65 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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