If you have Original Medicare, you probably know having a Medicare Supplement Plan (also known as Medigap) helps pay for some of the expenses Original Medicare doesn’t cover. There are many different insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement Plans and there are many different plans available to fit an individual’s specific needs.
But what if you sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan and decide you may want to switch plans? You may be wondering, can I change my Medicare Supplement Plan at any time?
According to Medicare.gov, there are several reasons you may want to switch your Medicare Supplement Plan, including:
- You’re currently paying for benefits that you don’t need
- You need more benefits than your current plan provides
- You want to switch insurance companies
- You’re looking for a cheaper policy1
Medicare.gov notes that in most cases, if you want to switch policies, “you won’t have a right under Federal law to switch Medigap policies” unless “you’re eligible under a specific circumstance or guaranteed issue rights” or “you’re within your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period.” (Your open enrollment period is the time in which you can purchase any Medicare Supplement Plan sold in your state, even if you have health problems.)
Boomer Benefits elaborates, noting “you can change Medicare supplement plans at any time of year – but in most states you will have to pass medical underwriting to do so.”2 This means that you can apply for a new Medicare Supplement Plan at any time, but it may require underwriting which does not guarantee issue. Boomer Benefits also notes that some states – like California, Washington, Oregon, Missouri, and others – have rules that allow individuals to change their Medicare Supplement Plans without underwriting. You should contact your state insurance commissioner or department of insurance for clarification.
If you have questions about Medicare or Medicare Supplements, visit Medicare.gov or contact a licensed insurance agent. An agent can help you navigate the world of Medicare Supplements to find the best plan for you, and answer any questions you have if you’re considering switching plans.
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1 Medicare.gov, Switching Medigap Policies
2 Boomer Benefits, Can I Change Medicare Supplement Plans During Annual Open Enrollment?