Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, is a type of insurance that helps fill gaps in Original Medicare. While Original Medicare pays for most of an individual’s medical needs, it doesn’t cover everything that a person might need. As such, a Medicare Supplement Insurance is often necessary to help pay for some of the remaining healthcare costs. Medigap can help pay for remaining costs including:
- Copayments: A fixed amount you pay for a covered health service after you’ve paid your deductibles.
- Coinsurance: This is the percentage of the cost for a covered health care service you pay.
- Deductibles: This is the amount you pay each year for most eligible medical services or medications before your healthcare plan or medications before your health plan starts sharing the cost of covered services
6 Reasons to Switch Your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Many people believe that they have to stick with their original Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan. But there are a variety of situations that would warrant individuals to switch their supplemental insurance plan. Here are 6 reasons why you may decide to switch your Medigap insurance.
You’re Not Satisfied with Your Current Medigap Plan
Having the right insurance plan certainly plays a huge role in our quality of care. With that said, there are a variety of reasons why you might not be satisfied with your plan. Whether you’re experiencing a lack of coverage, having approval difficulties, or issues with getting paid, these are all reasons to consider a new plan. A new Medigap plan could be the perfect solution that ensures all of your health needs are met when your old insurance isn’t satisfactory.
Your Health Needs have Changed
Your health needs may not always stay the same. In fact, the state of your health when you first chose your Medigap policy may not reflect the state of your health now. If this is the case, you might find that you need to upgrade to a policy that will give you the best quality of care. Essentially, having quality care is important because it aids in you having the best outcome.
At the same time, you might find that you’re paying more money for a policy that includes health services that you don’t really need. If you find that a lot of your included health services are underutilized or not utilized at all, you can consider changing your Medigap plan to make the most of your policy.
Your Financial Situation Has Changed
It’s not uncommon for your financial situation to change. If it does, you want to ensure that you have the right policy that matches your current financial state. This applies to individuals regardless of whether their income has gone up or down.
For instance, if you have seen a reduction in your income, it may be a good idea to change your Medigap plan to something more affordable. You can choose a plan that lowers your cost of copay, deductibles, and coinsurance thanks to health insurance subsidies. In fact, making the switch can give you access to year-long savings that can be truly beneficial to your pockets.
At the same time, you may have a subsidized plan and expect to make more money next year. If so, you will need to plan accordingly to ensure you’re not underpaying your policy. This can lead to you losing your Medigap coverage and a host of problems moving forward.
Your Medigap Insurance Company goes out of Business
It’s not every day that an insurer goes out of business. But if this happens to you, it’s important to be prepared. While an insurer going bankrupt can leave you with no coverage, this only happens if you decide to do nothing about it. It’s important to note that you have a guaranteed-issue right to join another Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. Medigap plan options include:
- Plan A
- Plan B
- Plan C
- Plan F
- Plan G
- Plan K
- Plan L
You can choose any one of these plans sold by a company in your state that is licensed to sell a Medigap policy no later than 63 days after your Medigap coverage has ended.
You’ve moved out of the area of your Medicare SELECT Plan
If you have a Medicare Select Plan, you may be required to use certain provider networks in order to be covered. With that said, if you move out of your Medicare SELECT coverage area, you might need to switch to maintain coverage.
You will be able to switch to any of the other Medigap plans sold by any company in your new place of residence that is licensed to sell the Medigap policy. Be advised that you will need to make this switch no later than 63 days after your coverage has ended.
Your Medigap Insurance Company Committed Fraud
If your Medigap insurer has committed fraud in any way, you have a guaranteed right to change your Medicare plan. Fraud refers to your insurer misleading you in any kind of way. You will be able to switch to a new plan sold by any company in your state no later than 63 calendar days after your coverage ends.
4 Things to Consider When Switching Your Plan
If you plan on switching your Medigap insurance plan, there are a few things to consider before you decide to move forward. We’re going to share 4 questions to consider before changing your Medigap plan.
When can I change my Medicare Supplement Plan?
One of the greatest benefits of a Medicare Supplement Plan is that you can apply for a plan at any time. You just need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B.
Keep in mind that a plan does not have to accept your application unless you have guaranteed issue rights. Here are a few things that qualify as guaranteed rights.
- You’ve enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B and you’re also within your 6-month Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period.
- You have guaranteed issue rights based on other qualifying reasons such as signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time and you want to sign up for a Medicare Supplement instead. Another guarantee is if you have a Medicare SELECT plan, and you’re moving out of the service area or you’ve had your current plan for at least 6 months.
In addition to this, it’s not uncommon for an insurance company to switch your plan after they’ve reviewed your medical records and considered your health condition. In this instance, they might charge you a higher premium. However, it’s important to note that they can deny you membership as well.
Will I have to wait for coverage after changing plans?
Once you switch your Medigap plan, it’s important to note that you may need to wait to receive coverage for certain benefits. For instance, if you need coverage for something that is outside the Medigap Open Enrollment Period and you have a pre-existing health condition, you may need to wait to be covered for expenses related to this condition.
In addition to this, if the Medigap plan you’re changing to has benefits that are not covered under your current plan, you may need to wait for up to six months for those benefits to take effect.
Do I need to change my Medigap plan if my current policy is discontinued?
Fortunately, you do not need to change plans if your current Medigap plan is no longer offered. With that said, you will want to hold on to your older policy if it includes coverage for things like prescription drug prescriptions that would otherwise cost you a lot more out-of-pocket.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that newer policies may include additional advantages that are not provided in your older plan. Just be sure to look over your older policy along with a new one to see which option would best suit your needs.
Can I change my mind about switching my Medigap plan?
Decisions are not always permanent, and it’s important to note that you will have an opportunity to change your mind about switching Medigap plans as long as it’s done within a certain timeframe.
If you change your mind, you can still stay with your old plan for up to 30 days before canceling. When filling out your application, you will need to promise to cancel your old plan. However, you are allowed a 30-day period to look around freely. This gives individuals an opportunity to stay with their old plans in case they change their minds.
How to Switch Your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Switching your Medigap policies is quite simple. The first thing that you will need to do is call your new insurance company and arrange to apply for your new Medigap policy. If the new insurance company accepts your application, you will need to call your current provider and ask them to end your coverage. Your current company will give you instructions on how to submit a request to end your coverage.
Having the right healthcare is important for everyone. Medicare Supplement Insurance is an excellent way to ensure all of your medical needs are met with no hassle. Healthcare Solutions Team is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National General Insurance Group and The Allstate Insurance Company. Contact us today to further explore your Medicare account, policy, and options.