Switching Medigap Plans? Here are your Options

Learn your Medigap choices before switching your plan

by Amy De Vore+ on Jul 01, 2017 | 15 Comments

If you live in a state that offers a Medigap Birthday Rule or Medigap Anniversary rule, you can switch plans every year without having to answer medical questions. There is a catch: You must do it during designated switching times and your choices may be limited. 

CA Residents:  Blue Shield is allowing anyone with a Medigap plan to switch to their new Medigap Plan F Extra regardless of your health history. Offer ends 4/15/2019. Click here to apply for Plan F Extra.

Which Medigap Plans Can I Switch to During My Birthday/Anniversary Rule?

This varies by state.  If you live in California,  you have the CA Birthday Rule where you can switch to any plan with equal or lessor benefits during the month of your birthday.  In Missouri, you have the Medigap Anniversary Rule where you can switch to a plan of equal benefits, and possibly some companies will allow for you to enroll in a plan of lesser benefits.  In Oregon they have created the chart below to show which plans you can switch to.

Plan Switching options for Oregon

Current Plan Plan you can switch to
Medigap Plan A Plan A
Medigap Plan B Plans A or B
Medigap Plan C Plans A, B, C, D, K, L, M, or N
Medigap Plan D Plans A, B, D, K, L, M, or N
Medigap Plan F Plans A, B, C, D, F, High F, G, K, L, M, or N
Medigap Plan High Deductible F Plan High F
Medigap Plan G Plans A, B, D, G, K, L, M, or N
Medigap Plan K Plan K
Medigap Plan L Plans K or L
Medigap Plan M Plans M or N
Medigap Plan N Plan N


UPDATE: This article has been updated for a misprint in a previous version stating that the Missouri Anniversary Rule allows you to switch to any plan of equal or lesser benefits. It should have stated that you can switch to a plan of equal benefits, and possibly one of lesser of benefits depending on the company.

How to Switch Your Plan During the Medigap Birthday/Anniversary Rule?

You can apply to switch your Medigap plan 30 days before or after your birthday or anniversary month. The earliest start date will be the first of the month after your birthday or anniversary month. Call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956 to help you switch your plan.

Learn More about Medigap Get a Medigap Quote

How Can I Switch if I Don’t Have a Medigap Switching Right?

There are only a few states that allow this: California, Oregon, and Missouri. If you don’t live in one of these states, you can switch your Medigap plan. However, you will, most likely, be required to answer medical questions. If you don’t qualify for the Medigap Birthday or Anniversary rule, give us a call at the number above, and one of our switching experts will be able to help make a smooth transition into a new Medigap plan.

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Reader Comments and Questions

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By Laurel on October 10, 2018

What health problems could disqualify someone with the medical underwriting for switching from G plan to F plan. I live in California.


By Stephen on December 02, 2017

I live in Missouri. Under the Anniversary Rule, I applied today, Dec. 9, 2017, to switch from one Plan F to a Plan F offered by a different provider. Thank you for your help!

Stephen
You are welcome and it was great working with you.
-Eric from Senior65.com



By Sue on February 02, 2017

I will be 65 in March and will retire the end of Aug, 2017, I have Plan A now, my husband has Plan A&B (secondary) and my medical plan at work is his primary. If I should decide to start collecting SS when I retire, my husband will have to get a supplement plan on his own, probably Plan F, I would probably do the same, can Plan D (drugs) and Plan F premiums be deducted from my ss check along with cost of Plan B?

Sue,
Thank you for your question! Unfortunately, your Medicare Supplement premiums cannot come from your SS check, but your Part D premium can. If you need help finding a Med Supp and Part D plans, please call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


By Gene on November 28, 2016

Can I switch from an Advantage Plan to Plan F under the Birthday Rule?

Gene,
Unfortunately, no. You are only allowed to switch from Medigap plans of equal or lesser value during the Birthday Rule. If you would like to leave your Medicare Advantage plan for a medically underwritten Medigap plan there are very specific times of the year you can apply (Medicare Annual Election Period and the Medicare Disadvantage Period). If you need help enrolling in a plan, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


By Everett on November 05, 2016

I will enroll in Medicare in a couple months. I have been told that since Plan F and Plan C will no longer be offered to new enrollees after 2020, that if I enrolled in one of these plans (F or C) now, I could expect the rates to increase dramatically after 2020 because the insurance pool would be shrinking because no new people were coming into these Plans. Most people would be better served by enrolling in a Plan G now instead of facing rising costs of the Plan F after 2020. Any thoughts?

Everett,
Unfortunately, there is no way to know how Medigap C and F rates will increase after 2020. However, since the news that these plans will not be offered, Medigap Plan G's monthly premiums seem to have become more competitive. So, we suggest looking at plans that have the most competitive rate now and check to see how historically they have increased rates. For further help, contact one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


By Steve on October 29, 2016

In Illinois, the premium cost for Plan F varies by as much as $1,000 annually between different insurers. If all Plan F's are required to be the same, how can the costs vary so much?

Steve,
We know! These companies prices vary greatly, but there's no real rhyme or reason to it. You just want to compare by reputation, price, and how historically rates go up. If you need help, contact one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Susan on October 10, 2016

Thanks for your chart on switching policies. I was told that you could not switch from the high deductible plan F to the traditional plan F. Can you confirm that it is possible during the 'birthday rule'. Thank you.

Susan,
As you will see on the chart, the only plan you can switch to from High F is High F from another company. If you would like to join Plan F or any other Medigap plan, you will have to answer medical questions, and go through medical underwriting.

We consider ourselves the Medicare Supplement switching experts, and are aware of companies that have an easier enrollment process. So, if you're ready, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


By Karen Fravel on September 08, 2016

Is it true that the F plan will be discontinued?

Karen,
Medicare Supplement Plan F will no longer sell new plans as of 2020, but anyone enrolled in Plan F before 2020 will continue to be covered, as long as they pay their premium on time. If you're interested in enrolling in a Medigap plan, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


By Julia on July 16, 2016

I am now POA for my mother (86) with dementia in assisted living. Her Medigap plan F was canceled due to nonpayment. She lives in PA and I live in MA. With her health issues (2 replaced hips, dementia) as pre-existing conditions, would be be able to be instated with anyone? I know plan F is set to be discontinued in 2020, I just don't know what to do. We have plenty of money to pay the premium but a mail snafu made us get canceled. What does medical underwriting mean?

Julia,
First, you will want to try to see if you can reinstate her cancelled Medigap insurance. If you have tried and are unable to, it may be difficult to get a company to approve her because she would have to go through medical underwriting (answer a medical questionnaire and be contacted by the company) due to her multiple preexisting conditions. You should contact one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956 to help you find a plan that will work for your mother.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Mary on May 25, 2016

What is the home health service advantage of Plan G

Mary,
Home Health Services are $0 from Original Medicare, but durable medical equipment will cost 20%. If you have Medigap Plan G, it will pay your 20% coinsurance. If you need help enrolling in or switching to Medigap Plan G, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


By Lisa Kenny on April 04, 2016

My mom has Medicare C and Medicare Would she be covered for physical therapy

Lisa,
Not sure if your mother has Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medigap Plan C, but either way both cover physical therapy. Remember with Part C, there are still out of pocket costs, with Medigap Plan C, she should not pay anything for coverage (as long as she sees a physical therapist that takes Medicare assignment). For help switching or comparing plans, call one our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/


By Joseph Hester on April 01, 2016

I live in CA and have Plan F and would like to save some money. I'm able to change my plan in June. Which plan do you think I should go with Plan G or N?

Joseph,
Since Plan G covers excess charges, and your copays, it will most likely save you money in the long run. The big thing to remember here is that Plan N is that it does not cover your Part B deductible, excess charges, and it requires that you pay copays to see your doctor. If you go to the doctor twice or more a month, or if you are diagnosed with a serious illness your copays will really add up, and Plan N will probably not save you any money in the long run.
Call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956 to learn which is the best plan in your area.
-Michelle from https://www.senior65.com/


By Bennie on April 01, 2016

What states have the birthday or anniversary rule? I live in Illinois.

Bennie,
California and Oregon have the Medigap Birthday Rule, and, Missouri has the Medigap Anniversary Rule. Since you don't live in one of those states, we can help you switch your Medigap plan to a company that has more lax rules for medical underwriting. Call our switching experts/licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/



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