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Federal law does not require a company to sell Medicare Supplement insurance plans (also known as Medigap or MedSup) to those under age 65, although some states require it. Because of this, Medigap insurers may choose to deny you a policy before you turn 65, or they may significantly reduce the number of available plans.
The following states require insurance companies to allow you to obtain at least one kind of Medicare Supplement coverage before you reach age 65 (restrictions noted):
The best time to join a Medigap plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is the six-month period that begins on the first day of the month that you turn age 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you are entitled to join any Medigap plan that is available in your state, regardless of health issues.
Once this enrollment period passes, Medigap insurers may require you to have a medical underwriting examination, which is a thorough review of your medical history. Depending on your health issues, you could wind up paying a higher price for Medigap insurance or even be denied coverage completely.
The start date of your Medigap Open Enrollment Period cannot be delayed or replaced.
Guaranteed-issue rights are also known as Medigap protections. These guaranteed-issue rights refer to certain situations where insurance companies must offer you certain Medigap policies. You have a guaranteed-issue right to join a Medicare Supplement insurance plan if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan and you move out of the plan’s service area or if the company offering the policy is leaving Medicare or stops giving care in your area.
When this happens, you may have the right to buy certain types of Medigap (or Medicare Supplement) policies sold in your state if you switch to Original Medicare. The Medigap insurance company must cover all your pre-existing health conditions, and it cannot charge you higher rates for a Medigap policy because of existing health conditions
Please note that you may also have a “trial right” to try a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), even if you have Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, and a Medigap policy. If you decide you do not like the Medicare Advantage plan, you may drop it without penalty and switch back to Original Medicare along with Medigap coverage, within a certain period of time.
Would you like to take a look at some of the Medicare Supplement insurance plans available in your area? Just enter your zip code in the box on this page to display a list and start comparing plans. Or call eHealth to talk to a licensed insurance agent – contact information below.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.