Medicare advantage plans (Medigap) are medical insurance for the elderly and the disabled. This insurance is advantageary to the original Medicare plans, that is, Medicare plans A and B. This Medigap policy can be bought during the enrollment period which starts the month a person turns 65 and is already enrolled in the Medicare Plan B. If this enrollment period ends, it may be difficult to buy a Medigap policy and may also cost more.
Procedure during open enrollment for Medicare advantage plans:
Medigap insurance companies usually use medical underwriting to see if the application can e accepted and the amount to be charged for the Medigap policy. The policy can be bought even if the person is suffering from any health issue. During the Medigap enrollment period, any Medicare advantage plan can be bought with the same price charged for a person with a health issue as for a person with good health.
Here is information about enrollment during open enrollment:
- 65 Years or older:
The enrollment period for 2019 Medicare advantage and supplement plans opens at www.medicareadvantageplans2019.org and after the enrollment in Part B and this period cannot be changed or repeated after the first time. It is advisable to enroll in Part B of the original Medicare plan when first eligible or else a late enrollment penalty are enforced if enrolled later on.
- turning 65:
The enrollment period starts on the first day of the month a person turning sixty-five or older and enrolled in Part B. The period stretches for six months. For example, if a person A turns 65 and got enrolled in Part B of Medicare plan in March when the best time to buy Medigap plan is from March to August. After this period, it might get difficult to enroll in Medigap plans and will also cost more. Exceptionally, some states have extended period of open enrollment.
- Group Health coverage:
If there is an existing group health coverage provided by an employer or union as a result of being employed then it is better to wait till the enrollment into Part B. Medigap policy is normally not needed as the medical policy provided by the employer covers all expenses as Medicare advantage plans. The chance to enroll in Plan B will be after the employer coverage ends without any penalty. In case, you were enrolled in Part B while having the employer health coverage, the Medigap enrollment would start unless a Medigap policy is bought before itself which will negate any future enrollment periods.