You can be satisfied with your current Medicare Supplement plan. But there are situations where you may want to change plans, e.g. you have found a Medicare supplement plan for a lower premium. Maybe you even found the same plan for less money, offered by another insurance company. Can you change your Medicare supplement plans at any time?
When can I change my Medicare plans?
One of the interesting features of Medicare Supplement plans is that you can apply for the plan at any time – all you have to do is sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. However, the plan does not have to accept your application unless you are guaranteed
The same applies to changing Medicare Supplement plans.
Guaranteed issue rights mean that when you apply for a Medicare Supplement plan – whether you are changing the plan or buying it for the first time – you cannot be rejected if:
- You have been enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and
- You are within a 6-month period of open Medicare supplementation (OEP). This period begins in the month in which you are 65 years old or older and have signed up for Part B or
- You have the rights to release guaranteed after OEP, for another reason (see below).
Can I change my mind about changing my Medicare Supplement insurance plans?
If you decide to change your Medigap plans, you can keep the old plan for up to 30 days before canceling it. You must promise that you will cancel your old Medigap plan while completing your new plan application, but you have a 30-day ‘free appearance’ period in case you decide not to change your Medicare Supplement insurance plans. This period begins when you start the new policy. Do not cancel the old plan until you are sure you want to keep the new rules.
Remember that you must pay both premiums during the 30-day ‘free appearance’ period.
What happens if I change and don’t like my new Medicare supplement rules?
It is possible that you may not like your new Medicare supplement rules. You may have a problem with your new provider or you may not like the additional benefits they offer. If you find yourself in this situation, you won’t get stuck. You have the right to change your mind and cancel a new Medigap policy within the first 30 days if you are not satisfied with your business or insurance. This time period is the “non-work period” that begins on the day you receive the new Medigap policy.
How to change your Medicare plans
Remember that if you want to opt out of a Medicare Advantage plan and you don’t want to sign up for another Medicare Advantage plan, you must notify your plan in writing. However, if you want to switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or from one Medicare prescription drug plan to another, all you have to do is join the new plan and you will automatically be deregistered.
Also, understand that you can generally only change Medicare plans during the Medicare Advantage open recruitment period, one-year election period or special election period (depending on what applies).