Knowing safe and protected ways or times is essential and this goes with Medigap as well. Ensure to know the enrollment time wisely and make use of it. The Medicare does not discuss laws. However, the fact is that some states permit enrollment many times. Thus, call your SHIP and know the right time to purchase a policy as per your state laws.
The Best Enrollment Time
Buying your Medigap or Medicare Supplement plans during open enrollment period is the protected and safe time. So, check it in your state. However, there is a six month time given as open enrollment period as per the national law and it begins from the month you are 65 and you must have been enrolled in Part B Medicare. Applying for a Medigap prior to the period of enrollment is possible, but the Medigap coverage becomes effective only from the enrollment period first day.
During the period of open enrollment, Medigap companies sell policies at best rate available without taking consideration of your health status, and they also cannot deny the coverage. Likewise, the best rate available depends on various factors, such as your gender, age, whether you smoke and the place you live. Ascertaining you receive the best rate, you can assure from your state SHIP. Purchasing a Medigap during the period of your open enrollment means the policies cannot exclude the pre-existing conditions coverage or the conditions for that you had enrolled before.
It is best to ensure you purchase in advance the Medigap before enrolling in Medicare so that there are no gaps in the coverage. If there was Part B already by the time you turned 65, that is during the open enrollment period for you, you can buy a Medigap policy on the 65th birthday month beginning.
Another Good Time for Enrollment
In case you miss the period of open enrollment, you can buy a Medigap that has a guarantee-issue right. If you are 65 right now or older, you can use the guaranteed issue right in a period of 63 days.
Having a guaranteed-issue right means companies should sell a policy at the best rate, despite your health status and they cannot refuse you coverage. The best rate available depends on several factors, age, gender, the place you live and if you are a smoker or non-smoker. Here the companies have no choice to keep you waiting for coverage, if you possess a guaranteed issue right for pre-existing conditions.