Which states allow you to change Medicare Supplement plans without underwriting?

Asked by: Filomena Stehr  |  Last update: August 23, 2023
Score: 4.9/5 (52 votes)

In some states, there are rules that allow you to change Medicare supplement plans without underwriting. This includes California, Washington, Oregon, Missouri and a couple others. Call us for details on when you can change your plan in that state to take advantage of the “no underwriting” rules.

Can you switch from one Medicare Supplement plan to another without underwriting?

During this time, you can enroll in any one of the 10 standardized plans without going through medical underwriting. This means an insurance company can't turn you down or charge you more if you have a pre-existing health condition. As a Medicare beneficiary, you can change supplements at any time.

Do Different states have different rules for changing Medicare Supplement plans?

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is a federal program so your coverage, costs and benefits will not be different from state to state. Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Medigap plans are available through private insurers. These optional Medicare plans are regulated by each state and tend to vary.

Can you change your Medicare Supplement anytime?

If the insurance company agrees to sell you a new policy with the same basic benefits, it can't add conditions (such as probationary periods) related to pre-existing health problems. However, you might have to wait up to six months before the plan covers your pre-existing condition.

Can you switch from plan N to plan G without underwriting?

You can change Medigap carriers, while keeping the same level of coverage, during the months surrounding your Medigap anniversary. For example, you can switch from a Plan G to a Plan G without underwriting, but not from a Plan G to a Plan N.

Change a Medicare Supplement Plan - Medical Underwriting?

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How difficult is it to change Medigap plans?

. If you want to switch to a different Medigap policy, you'll have to check with your current or new insurance company to see if they'll offer you a different policy. If you decide to switch, you may have to pay more for your new Medigap policy.

Is plan F better than plan G?

Is Medicare Plan G better than Plan F? Medicare Plan G is not better than Plan F because Medicare Plan G covers one less benefit than Plan F. It leaves you to pay the Part B deductible, whereas Medigap Plan F covers that deductible.

Can I change supplement companies?

You can change your Medicare Supplement company at any time to get a lower premium. Many carriers offer a “rate lock” for the first year of coverage, making this another advantage of switching Medicare Supplement companies. During this rate lock period, you don't need to worry about increases to your premium.

Are Medigap policies underwritten?

If you apply for Medigap coverage after your open enrollment period has passed, you may have to go through medical underwriting. The insurer may review your medical history and refuse to sell you a policy, or sell you one at a higher cost, if you do not meet its underwriting requirements.

How often can you switch Medicare plans?

Can you switch Medicare Advantage plans anytime? You cannot switch Medicare Advantage plans at any time. There are only three enrollment periods when you can switch a Medicare Advantage Plan. Your first opportunity is after you first enroll in a MA Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period.

Do Medigap premiums vary by state?

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan premiums vary from state to state. Although the benefits are standardized, Medicare costs by state are not the same. There are many reasons why some states have more expensive Medigap plans than others.

Are Medicare benefits the same in all states?

Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B together are known as “original Medicare.” Original Medicare has a set standard for costs and coverage nationwide. That means your coverage will be the same no matter what state you live in, and you can use it in any state you visit.

Who is the largest Medicare Advantage provider?

AARP/UnitedHealthcare is the most popular Medicare Advantage provider with many enrollees valuing its combination of good ratings, affordable premiums and add-on benefits. For many people, AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans fall into the sweet spot for having good benefits at an affordable price.

When can I switch from a Medicare Supplement to an Advantage plan?

If you currently have Medicare, you can switch to Medicare Advantage (Part C) from Original Medicare (Parts A & B), or vice versa, during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. If you want to make a switch though, it may also require some additional decisions.

Can you switch back and forth between Medicare Advantage and Medigap?

You may have chosen Medicare Advantage and later decided that you'd rather have the protections of a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plan that go along with Original Medicare. The good news is that you can switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap, as long as you meet certain requirements.

Can Medicare Supplement plans deny for pre-existing conditions?

Summary: A Medicare Supplement insurance plan may not deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition. However, a Medicare Supplement plan may deny you coverage for being under 65. A health problem you had diagnosed or treated before enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan is a pre-existing condition.

Is underwriting required if the consumer is not in their Medicare Supplement open enrollment period or does not meet guaranteed issue criteria?

Medicare Supplement underwriting questions aren't always mandatory. Sometimes, like during your Open Enrollment Period, you receive a waiver for health question requirements. If you're changing a Medigap plan or miss your OEP, underwriting is likely a must.

When can someone enroll in a Medicare Supplement without the chance for denial premium increase or exclusions due to pre-existing conditions?

Coverage for the pre-existing condition can be excluded if the condition was treated or diagnosed within 6 months before the coverage starts under the Medigap policy. After this 6-month period, the Medigap policy will cover the condition that was excluded.

How long does Medigap underwriting take?

How long does it take an insurance company to approve or deny a Medigap policy application? After you apply, it can take as long as 2 months for an insurance company to decide whether it's going to sell you a Medigap policy. There are things you can do to help this go more quickly (see bulleted list below).

Do Medicare Advantage plans require medical underwriting?

Because Advantage plans have no medical underwriting, the insurer must accept you. Many of these plans have extra perks, such as dental, vision or hearing coverage, that original Medicare doesn't provide.

Can you have two Medicare Supplement plans?

Retirees can't have more than one Medicare supplement plan or one at the same time as a Medicare Advantage plan. To cut costs on health care, start by calculating whether a supplement or an Advantage plan will save you the most money.

Why is plan F being discontinued?

The reason Plan F (and Plan C) is going away is due to new legislation that no longer allows Medicare Supplement insurance plans to cover Medicare Part B deductibles. Since Plan F and Plan C pay this deductible, private insurance companies can no longer offer these plans to new Medicare enrollees.

Which Medigap plans are no longer available?

note: As of January 1, 2020, Medigap plans sold to people new to Medicare can no longer cover the Part B deductible. Because of this, Plans C and F are no longer available to people new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

Which two Medicare plans Cannot be enrolled together?

You generally cannot enroll in both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medigap plan at the same time.

What is the California birthday rule for Medicare?

California: The birthday rule in California applies to all residents who already have a Medigap policy. Most importantly, the rule starts 30 days before their birthday and ends 60 days following. During this time, policyholders can change to any plan of equal or lesser benefit with the carrier of their choice.