Laying a Solid Foundation | Lesson 5

Medicare Supplement Enrollment Opportunities

You’ve learned the basics of Medicare Supplement coverage and costs, now let’s talk about when someone can enroll in these plans.

There are three enrollment opportunities in Medicare Supplements: Open Enrollment, Underwritten Enrollment, and Guaranteed Issue Enrollment.

The ideal time for someone to enroll in a Med Supp is during their Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

This is a six-month period that begins the month that someone is 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.

During this time, beneficiaries can apply for any eligible Medicare Supplement plan, without completing medical underwriting.

This means that during their Medigap Open Enrollment Period, the carrier cannot refuse to sell the beneficiary a policy or charge them more based on current health conditions.

If someone is outside their Medigap Open Enrollment, they can still apply for a Medicare Supplement at any time with medical underwriting.

This is one of the differences between Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans.

Someone could enroll in any eligible Medicare Supplement at any time unlike in a Medicare Advantage plan, which requires a qualifying election period.

Keep in mind though, when a beneficiary needs to complete the health underwriting questions, it’s possible that their Med Supp coverage may be denied, or that they could pay more based on their health conditions.

The last enrollment opportunity we’ll discuss is the Guaranteed Issue Right.

Guaranteed Issue Rights are special circumstances that allow someone to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy without medical underwriting outside of their Open Enrollment Period.

These guaranteed issue rights only allow someone to enroll in select plan types for a limited period of time.

If you’d like to review all the situations that give someone the Guaranteed Issue Right, check out the link in our resources section of this module to learn more.

Up next, we’ll discuss the Regulation of Medicare Supplements.

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