Medicare 101

When Can You Sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published July 16, 2020 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, can help you save money on your Medicare out-of-pocket costs. But when can you sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance? The best time to sign up for Medigap is during your Medigap open enrollment period, and failing to enroll during this time could end up costing you more money.

Learn more about your open enrollment period below.

Signing up During Open Enrollment

Everyone's Medigap open enrollment period is different. Your open enrollment period begins the month you are both 65 years or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B, and lasts for six months. If you purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan during your open enrollment period, an insurer cannot deny you coverage or charge you more for coverage, regardless of your past or present health status. 

If you fail to enroll in a Medigap plan during your open enrollment period, however, insurers may charge you more or deny you coverage based on your health (known as medical underwriting). 

Exceptions

Sometimes you may have what’s known as a “guaranteed issue right.” In these cases, you can purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance outside of your open enrollment period without medical underwriting.

Some examples of guaranteed issue rights include:

  • You’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage and your provider is leaving Medicare or discontinuing coverage in your area.
  • You’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage and you’re moving from the service area of your plan.
  • You have Original Medicare and a Medicare SELECT policy, and you’re moving from the service area of your policy.
  • You let go of a Medigap policy in order to join a Medicare Advantage plan (for the first time), and you decide to return to Medigap within a year of joining Medicare Advantage.

There may be other instances that qualify you for guaranteed issue rights. Call a licensed agent for more information.

Speak with a licensed agent at 1-800-995-4219 to learn more about Medigap and to get a free, no-obligation quote.

Resource Center

Compare Medigap Plans 2020

See how the 10 Medigap plans differ. Review our chart for a detailed comparison of Medicare Supplement insurance benefits and compare Medigap options where you live. Read more
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