Medicare Supplement plans are great and can help you get the most from your Medicare coverage. However, there are some important details to know about them and they aren’t all positive. That’s why it’s important to understand what qualifies as a guaranteed issue period, when it occurs, and where you can learn more about this right.
Guaranteed Issue Periods
A guaranteed issue period is a time when you can apply for a Medicare supplement plan without having an open enrollment period. The guaranteed issue period occurs if you lose your current health plan due to no fault of your own, or if you’re switching from an HMO/PPO plan to another type of Medicare supplement plan.
If you meet the requirements for this type of plan, it will be guaranteed to be issued within 60 days after the date that CMS receives all necessary information about your application.
Medigap Open Enrollment Period
The Medigap open enrollment period is the only time you can change your Medicare supplement plan, cancel your plan and switch providers. The open enrollment period occurs twice a year and lasts for six months at a time—the first half of the calendar year (January through June) is one period, and the second half (July through December) is another.
What is the Medigap Trial Right
It’s the right to switch to a new Medicare supplement plans during your first 6 months of enrollment. If you don’t use this right, then you won’t be able to change plans again until the next annual open enrollment period that begins in October and ends in December. If you have a Medigap Trial Right, you can switch plans any time before June 30th each year if:
- You have been diagnosed with an illness or condition that makes it difficult for you to find coverage on your current plan (for example, cancer)
- Your current carrier raises their rates significantly after first enrolling in Medicare Part D (for example, due to costs).
Medigap Open Enrollment Rights In Group Plans
Let’s begin with some definitions. A group plan is a Medicare supplemental insurance policy that covers an individual who is part of a specific group, such as an employer’s employees, union members or those who have been terminated from their jobs but had chosen COBRA coverage.
Group plans may also include members of associations and other groups that are eligible for certain Medicare supplemental policies. In most cases, these plans are not limited to people who live in the same state.
Group plans tend to be more expensive than one-to-one plans because they have more extensive benefits and often offer drug coverage in addition to medical expenses like physician visits and hospital stays.
Medicare Open Enrollment Rights For Working Seniors
If you lose your work group coverage, you may enroll in Medicare Advantage during a special enrollment period. If your job coverage stops, you have 60 days to enroll in Medicare Advantage. If you are working and have Medicare, but were not eligible for COBRA continuation coverage under your old employer’s health plan because of an eligibility requirement (such as not being continuously employed by the same company), then there is no waiting period before being allowed to switch plans at all.
Hopefully you reading this article has provided you with a better understanding of your rights in relation to Medicare. If you have any questions or concerns, please check here for further information as it will be continually updated.