Can I Buy Medicare Supplement Insurance While Disabled?
Learn how to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan if you qualify for Medicare due to a disability and meet other eligibility requirements.
Yes, you may be eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan if you are under 65 and are enrolled in Medicare because of a disability.
Federal law does not require states to sell Medicare Supplement Insurance policies to people under 65, but certain state laws do.
If you are over 65, have Medicare Part B and sign up for Medigap during your Medigap open enrollment period, you are eligible to buy a Medigap plan regardless of disability. Read on to learn more about how to purchase Medigap with a disability.
Disabled Under 65
In 27 states, Medicare Supplement Insurance companies are required to sell policies to people under age 65 who receive Medicare benefits because of a qualifying disability or medical condition.
The following states require Medicare Supplement Insurance companies to sell at least one Medigap policy to Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 (see restrictions below):
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
*Excludes people under 65 with end-stage renal disease
**Only available to people under 65 with end-stage renal disease
You may still be able to purchase a Medigap policy under age 65 if you do not live in one of the states listed above. Private insurance companies in other states can opt to sell policies to people with disabilities under age 65, but they generally use medical underwriting to determine the cost of the policies, which can result in higher premiums.
What to Expect
Medigap laws are different for people under 65, so you may still struggle to find the coverage you want even if you live in a state that sells policies to people under age 65. Below are some obstacles you may face if you are buying Medigap prior to turning 65.
- You will probably pay more for your plan than people over 65
Some states require insurance companies to sell you a Medigap policy for the same price as people over 65, but most states allow companies to charge you more if you are under 65 and disabled.
- You may have to settle on a less comprehensive plan
State laws vary, but some states only require insurance companies to offer certain plans to people under 65. For example, Texas only requires companies to offer Medigap Plan A, which is the least comprehensive plan available.
- If you live in a different state, you may be denied altogether
Only the 27 states above are required to offer any Medicare Supplement Insurance options to people under 65. Companies outside of these states can choose who they cover and how much they charge. If you live outside of these states but still find a company that is willing to accept applications from people under 65, be prepared to be charged a high premium for coverage or denied altogether.
Disabled Over 65
If you are over age 65 and sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance during your Medigap open enrollment period, insurance companies are required to sell you any policy they offer, regardless of disability.
Signing up during your open enrollment period (the six months after you are both 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B) also prohibits insurance companies from charging you extra for your policy for having a pre-existing condition.
If you have a disability and sign up for Medicare Supplement Insurance outside of your open enrollment period, insurance companies can choose to deny your application or use medical underwriting to charge you more for your policy than people with good health.
If you already have a Medigap policy when you're under 65 and disabled, you may be able to get a better rate once you turn 65. That's because you'll be eligible for your Medigap open enrollment period.