Home Health On Switching Medigap Policies: What To Consider

On Switching Medigap Policies: What To Consider

Medigap is a standardized policy that addresses gaps in traditional Medicare coverage. Switching Medigap policies is quite rare since it goes against federal law in all but two cases. One, you have guaranteed issue rights or special circumstances or two, you are within the 6-month Medigap open enrolment period. Many people might want to switch one Medigap policy out for another because they might find that they are paying for benefits they don’t need or alternatively need more benefits than the current plan offers.

Other reasons include wishing to change the insurance company that the plan is secured to and wanting a cheaper plan. It’s important to note that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) has changed how Medigap looks now. The key difference is that access to Medigap Plan C and F has been cut off for seniors who turned 65 after January 1, 2020.

Here’s what you need to know if you decide that you want to switch Medigap policies.

If you bought your policy before 2010, it may offer coverage that isn’t available in a newer policy. If your policy dates back to before 1992, your policy is guaranteed renewable which means that it can’t be terminated by the insurance company. If you still decide to switch, you should know that your premiums might be higher. As such, except for special circumstances, you don’t stand to gain much if the only reason you’re switching is the age of your current policy.

If you just turned 65 and purchased a Medigap policy, the insurance company will wait up to six months to cover a pre-existing condition. If you decide to switch within this six-month period, you must subtract the number of months you’ve had your current Medigap policy from the time you must wait before your new policy offers coverage for your condition.  

When you are absolutely certain that you want to make the switch, you should apply for a new Medigap policy and wait for your application to be accepted and then submit a request to your current insurance company to end your existing coverage. You then get 30 days under the new Medigap policy (the free-look period) to decide if you want to keep it. You still have to pay premiums for both the old and new policies while within the free-look period. Your old Medigap policy is only officially cancelled once you’ve decided to keep the new one.

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