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When Can I Switch From Medicare Advantage To Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Christian Worstell by Christian Worstell    |    Published Nov 25, 2019    |    Reviewed by John Krahnert

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and wish to switch to a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, you must drop your Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

You can do so during certain enrollment periods that occur throughout the year.

Find out when they are, and what steps to take to ensure you get the right coverage for you.

When Can I Change Medicare Plans?

If you’ve evaluated your current Medicare plan and have decided that a different option may make more sense for you, you are free to change plans during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (also called the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period), which runs from October 15th to December 7th each year.

This includes switching from Medicare Advantage (Part C) to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). You may also switch Medicare Advantage plans or Prescription Drug Plans during this time.

You may also switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare (and a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, if you want one) during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1st to March 31st each year.

You can compare Part D plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit MyRxPlans.com.

Enrolling in Medicare Supplement Insurance

You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).

If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, insurance companies cannot use medical underwriting to determine your coverage eligibility.

  • This means you cannot be denied a Medigap plan or charged more for a plan based on your medical history.

  • Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins the month you are both 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B.

If you switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare — whether during the fall Open Enrollment Period or the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period — insurance companies can use medical underwriting to determine whether or not they will offer you a policy.

Even if they choose to cover you, they can charge you a higher monthly premium than those who enrolled when they were first eligible.

The exception to this rule is if you have a guaranteed issue right.

Examples of guaranteed issue rights include:

  • You move outside of your Medicare Advantage plan’s service area

  • Your Medicare Advantage plan leaves Medicare

  • You leave your Medicare Advantage plan because the insurance company misled you or did not follow Medicare rules and federal laws

  • You left a Medigap plan to join Medicare Advantage, had your Medicare Advantage coverage for less than a year and wish to switch back to Medigap

Speak With a Licensed Agent

To learn more about switching to Medigap or to get a free quote for policies in your area, call today to speak with a licensed agent and compare the Medigap plans that are available where you live.


Find Medigap plans in your area.

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Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for MedicareSupplement.com. He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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