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Best Time to Purchase a Medicare Supplement

The Medigap (also known as Medicare Supplement) Open Enrollment Period begins on the 1st day of the month in which you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B, this period lasts 6 months.  You may be wondering what is so good about this open enrollment period – let me explain.

During Medigap Open Enrollment Period a Medicare Supplement insurance company can’t ask you any health questions!  This means that the insurance company cannot:

  • Refuse to sell you any Medigap policy they sell
  • Make you wait for coverage to start
  • Raise your rates due to health conditions

As of March 2010, the Medicare Supplement insurance company cannot make you wait for coverage to begin however they may be able to limit coverage for pre-existing conditions, if you did not have credible coverage.  What’s credible coverage – certain types of health policies (ex: Major Medical Policy, Group Health Insurance).   Please know that some companies do not impose pre-existing conditions on Medigap Policies; however, the ones that do usually only have a 90 – 180 day waiting period.

In basic terminology the Open Enrollment Period is the best time to sign up for a Medigap policy, commonly referred to as Medicare Supplement, because you can be asked no health questions from the insurance company you choose. In other words John Doe can be diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, or any other medical condition and cannot be turned down for a Medigap Policy during this time frame.  They cannot rate John Doe’s Medigap policy up or make him wait for coverage to begin.  This is why signing up for a Medigap policy during the Open Enrollment Period is so important.

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