If you are on Medicare and wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, you need to qualify before the company will approve the application.
What I mean by qualifying is; there is one of two ways to enroll. 1) You will answer the health and prescription questions on the new enrollment form and be able to pass medical underwriting with your current and previous health status .. Or .. you enroll because you qualify for a “guarantee-Issue” enrollment.
The Medicare Supplement approval process does not follow the same rules as the Affordable Care Act” with the under age 65 health insurance plans, where everyone is eligible if they enroll during a qualifying open enrollment period.
- Medical Underwriting & Health History … a person who enrolls must be approved after answering all health history questions on the enrollment form. Each company has a list of questions which need to be answered. Some companies are more lenient than others, and may ask fewer questions or require less medical information. An applicant will either be accepted or denied the policy. If accepted there are no exclusions or waiting periods.
- Guaranteed-Issue Enrollment … this is the easiest because you the company doesn’t require you to answer anything regarding your health status. Guaranteed-Issue’s are different “open-enrollments available to anyone on Medicare, but you need to be careful because some of the open enrollments can close quite quickly.
- The most used is the “Initial Enrollment Period” which is a 6 month open enrollment starting when you first enroll in Medicare Part B. Another popular time is what is called a “Special Enrollment Period” which allows for several situation, but one of the most used is when a person exits an employer health insurance policy and wishes to enroll in a Medicare Supplement policy. This enrollment period allows for a person to enroll within two months.
- List of common “Guaranteed-Issue” (G.I) situations.
Under age 65 Medicare members … If you wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplement policy you will need a guaranteed-issue situation. Companies will decline your application if they see you do not qualify for G.I.
Do not let one of these open-enrollment situations pass you by. You may not be able to enroll again.
If you know of someone turning 65, new to medicare or leaving a group health plan, or anyone who is looking into a Medicare Supplement policy, please let them know about this information or forward this web page to them. Have them call me, I’ll be happy to look into their options.
Medicare Part D Rx plans … Part D plans also have “Special Enrollment Periods” throughout the year, though most will enroll and or change plans during the Annual Enrollment Period which is from October 15 through December 7 for a January 1, start date.
Remember, if you are not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) you can still apply for a new Medicare Supplement anytime of the year, simply answer the health history questions on the enrollment forms and wait for the company to respond. If you have or had a certain condition(s) it important to know which company to apply to., since they all ask different questions, and how far back you have been treated. Call and I can give you a good idea which company may be the easiest route.