Can you change medicare supplement plans at any time?
There are a few things that you need to know before changing any Medicare plans, and we are here to talk you through everything that you will need to know.
Changing policies can be difficult when you don’t have insurance agents who can help you along the way, however, it isn’t impossible.
You are always able to change your plan and should never be locked into a plan for a certain amount of time.
That being said, if you do choose to change your plan you may face restrictions that didn’t apply to you when you originally signed up for the Medicare plan.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about changing your Medicare supplement plan.
Table of contents
Can I Change Medicare Supplement Plans?
Policies have an open enrollment period of six months which begins the month after the beneficiary turns 65 years of age.
During this time you can enroll in any of the 10 standardized Medicare plans without going through medical underwriting.
This essentially means that insurance companies cannot either turn you down or charge you more if you have a pre-existing health condition when you enroll.
As a beneficiary of Medicare, you can change supplements at any point. There is no guarantee that the application will be accepted however if it was switched outside of the Open Enrollment period.
Suppose the application is described as ‘’medically underwritten’’. In that case, this means the insurance company uses the client’s age and health history to decide if they are going to cover them and at what cost.
A new policy may be more expensive than your previous one for this very reason.
You should avoid canceling medical coverage until you are approved for a new one to avoid any lapses in coverage.
If you have a trustworthy insurance agent they will tell you to keep your old coverage until your new one is definite and in place.
You should consider switching your Medicare plans if you,
- No longer need the benefits of your current plan
- Need different or additional benefits
- Want to get another insurance provider that has cheaper options available to you
- Have a change in your financial situation that can lead to changes in your supplemental insurance and coverage.
Medicare Supplement Free Look Period
Medicare supplement plans come with a 30-day free look period.
This means you can keep your old plan for an additional 30 days after your new one starts so that if you decide you prefer your original plan, you can switch back and cancel the new one with no hassle.
If you want to take advantage of this offer, you will have to pay premium prices for both plans for the month.
However, if you change your mind after the free look period, you’ll have to reapply and medical underwriting guidelines.
Beneficiaries who had an older plan will not be able to revert to their old one if they switch to a new one. If you never choose to leave your plan, however, you will get to keep it.
Guaranteed Issue Right
Enrolling during a special enrollment period means that you will automatically have a ‘guaranteed issue right’. This means that the insurance company must issue you a policy and cannot charge you more.
You may have guaranteed issue rights if any of the following apply to you:
- Your current insurance company has left your service area, or you plan to leave the service area.
- You have Original Medicare and supplemental coverage through an employer and that coverage is ending.
- Your current insurance company went bankrupt, or your coverage ends through a fault that is not your own.
- You were misled or your current insurer broke the law.
- You signed up for Medicare Advantage and within a year you want to enroll in Original Medicare with a Medigap policy.
Deadline for Changing Medicare Supplement Plans
The good news is that there is no deadline! The only restrictions when it comes to changing medicare supplement plans are that the applicant again has a guaranteed issue.
This is an important factor for those with pre-existing medical conditions.
If the carrier needs to undergo medical underwriting then you could be denied the coverage, and not be able to get back on to your plan’s coverage.
If you work with an insurance agent, they will be able to tell you what the best options for you are.
In some situations, you could be forced to cancel your Medicare supplement plan and keep only Medicare or Medicare advantage.
Some companies provide coverage for specific conditions after cancellation, however, such as if you have a pre-existing condition.
Again, you must have an alternative plan before canceling your current one.
How to Get Help with Changing your Medicare Supplement Policy
Changing your Medicare supplement insurance can be a lot more complicated than when you first signed up for the plan.
Different plans will be better suited for different people, so you must find a plan with a price that is the best option for you.
You should contact Medicare to find out exactly what they can offer you and the best possible service for you and your healthcare plan personally.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to changing Medicare plans, but it is most important to note that it is not impossible to do.
Changing your plan may mean you lose your old one if it is not available anymore, so it is important that you thoroughly consider your decision before you make it.
Hopefully, this article has helped guide you through Medicare supplement plans and how and when you can change them, and what it could mean for you if you do.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can cancel your Medicare Supplement insurance plan anytime by calling your insurance company. Keep in mind that when you cancel your plan, you may not be able to get it back and you may not be able to get another Medicare Supplement plan without being subjected to medical underwriting.
Medigap Plans F and G are the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in 2023. Learn more about other popular plans like Plan N and compare your Medigap plan options.
From January 1 – March 31 each year, if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to Original Medicare (and join a separate Medicare drug plan) once during this time. Note: You can only switch plans once during this period.