Buying Medicare Supplement Insurance
One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to Medigap insurance is when one can purchase a policy. The simple answer is to acquire coverage as soon as you become eligible. Take note though that you have to purchase a policy during a scheduled open enrollment period. The time frame for your supplemental coverage enrolment depends on your age, so make sure you keep note of these extremely important days.
What to expect during the open enrolment period
There are plenty of good reasons to purchase a Medicare Supplemental insurance policy as soon as you can. One of these is because you’d want to take advantage of the rule that prohibits insurance providers from disqualifying applicants due to preexisting health conditions. In other words, even if you have problems such as diabetes or hypertension, insurance companies have to sell you a plan, given that you get your policy during the 6-month open enrolment.
Open enrolments starts from the first day of the month you turned 65 years old and obtained the Part B (Medical Insurance) of the Original Medicare program. You can choose whichever plan suits you and your budget the most, and pay the same price as your peers in better health.
Keep in mind that after this period though, insurance providers of Medigap can already reject your application because of your existing health problems. And even if you do manage to purchase a policy, you can expect to pay a lot more.
Enrolment for those aged 65 or olderAs mentioned above, you can purchase your Medicare Supplement insurance a day after your 65th birthday, and as long as you already have the Medicare Part B policy. Also, remember that you cannot change nor repeat the 6-month open enrolment. It’s also wise to get the Medicare Part B coverage as soon as you become eligible for it, as delaying puts you at risk of having to pay a late enrolment penalty.
For those turning 65
Before you can purchase Medigap, you first have to meet the age and the Medicare prerequisites. When you’re about to turn 65, the age prerequisite, you should already look at obtaining the Part B of the Traditional Medicare program. Once you’ve hit 65 by March and you already have Medicare Part B, you can already start shopping around for Medigap. In this case, your open enrolment period runs from March to August.
Purchasing coverage after open enrolment ends
Although some insurance companies still offer Medigap insurance to applicants outside the open enrolment, you don’t have the guarantee that you can purchase a policy. This is especially true in the event that you don’t satisfy the medical underwriting requirements, which involves situations that make you eligible for late enrolment. In other words, even if you find an insurer that will sell you a supplemental policy, you can expect your expenses to rise. This is especially risky for those who have preexisting conditions.
The last thing you want is to incur medical and hospital bills and have to shoulder a huge portion of it because you don’t have Medicare Supplement insurance. So before anything happens, you should already protect yourself and get this useful additional coverage.