If you’re enrolled in Medicare under 65 because of a disability, you may be eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance (or Medigap) plan. Medicare Supplement Insurance can help cover some of the health care costs that come with Original Medicare.
The availability of Medigap plans you can choose from and your qualification to buy them will vary based on a few factors, including what state you live in.
Can You Get Medicare Supplement Insurance If You Are Under 65?
Federal law doesn’t require insurance companies to sell Medicare Supplement Insurance for disabled people under age 65, but some state laws do. If you’re enrolled in Medicare under 65 due to a disability and/or end-stage renal disease (or ESRD), your eligibility for Medicare Supplement Insurance will depend on the state you live in.
The following states require that insurance companies offer at least one type of Medigap plan to people under 65 who receive Medicare benefits:
- California*, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware**, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts*, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont* and Wisconsin.
*These states require that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled. This requirement does not include those under 65 with ESRD.
**Delaware requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who have ESRD. This requirement does not include those under 65 who are disabled.
Even if your state isn’t listed above, you may be able to get coverage.
Some insurance companies voluntarily sell Medicare Supplement Insurance plans for disabled people who are under 65. If they do, they generally use medical underwriting in the application process, which could affect your Medigap policy cost.
Buying Medicare Supplement Insurance Under 65
The regulations regarding Medigap health insurance for disabled people under 65 vary based on your insurance provider and where you live. If you find a company that lets you apply for a Medigap policy under age 65, there are a few things you should be prepared for.
- You may not be able to buy the plan you want.
It depends on where you live and what rights you’re guaranteed under state law. In most cases, companies aren’t required to offer you the same policies they offer people over age 65, so you may be limited to certain Medigap plan options. In Texas, insurance companies are only required by law to offer Medigap Plan A to people under 65 — which is the least comprehensive set of benefits available.
- You may not be able to buy your plan at the best rate possible.
Policies sold to people under 65 may cost more than policies sold to people over age 65.
Waiting for Your Open Enrollment Period
Generally, your Medigap open enrollment period begins when you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During your open enrollment period, you have a wider variety of Medigap plan options to choose from, and companies can’t charge you a higher premium based on your medical history or current health status.
If you get Medicare Part B before you turn 65, your OEP automatically begins the month you turn 65. Some states have Medigap open enrollment periods for people under 65. If that’s the case, you’ll still get a Medigap OEP when you turn 65, and you’ll be able to buy any policy sold in your state.
Before making a purchase, find out what rights you have under state law as someone who is younger than 65 and enrolled in Medicare due to a disability.
If you have questions about Medicare Supplement Insurance and want to speak to someone one-on-one, call a licensed agent today. Agents can help you find plans in your area and walk you through the process of buying a policy.