Medicare Supplement guaranteed issue rights
If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you might consider enrolling in a Medicare Supplement (also referred to as Medigap or Med Supp) plan. Medicare Supplement plans cover some of the out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare does not cover. These costs include things like; deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. When you enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, you need to understand your guaranteed issue rights.
What does Guaranteed Issue mean?
It means that you have the ability to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without having to undergo medical underwriting. In other words; the insurance company cannot ask you any health-related questions or deny you coverage based on your health status. These rights apply only in certain situations which are specified by law.
You have guaranteed issue rights in the following situations:
- You are in your Medigap Open Enrollment Period: The Medigap-Open-Enrollment-Period is a six-month period that starts the first day of the month in which you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you have guaranteed issue rights and can enroll in any Medicare Supplement policy sold in your state, regardless of your health status.
- You lose your Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement policy: If you are enrolled in either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement policy and the plan stops offering coverage in your area, you have guaranteed issue rights to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan within 63 days of losing your coverage.
- You move to a new state: If you move to a new state and your current Medicare Supplement policy is not available in your new location, you have guaranteed issue rights to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan within 63 days of moving.
- You have a trial right to a Medicare Advantage Plan: If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan for the first time and within the first 12 months of enrollment you decide to disenroll. You have guaranteed issue rights to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan within 63 days of disenrollment.
- Your Medicare Supplement insurance company goes bankrupt: If your Medicare Supplement insurance company goes bankrupt and you lose your coverage as a result, you have guaranteed issue rights. You have 63 days to enroll in a Medicare Supplement policy.
What if You Don’t qualify for a Guaranteed Issue Policy?
You may still be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. The only catch is, the insurance company can ask you health-related questions. If they do not like the answers, they can deny you coverage based on your health. Additionally, if the plan accepts you with a pre-existing condition, you may have to pay a higher premium amount for your coverage
Just to summarize; it is important to understand your rights when it comes to enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan.
If you have guaranteed issue rights, you can enroll in a plan without going through medical underwriting. This can save you time and money. If you do not have guaranteed issue rights, you may still be able to purchase a policy, although you should prepare to answer health questions and potentially pay a higher premium.