“Adam, I want to change my Medicare Supplement but I was told that I could not because I have pre-existing conditions. I had these conditions when I signed up for my Supplement. Why are they an issue now?”
Why can’t I change my Medicare Supplement?
Whenever a person ages into Medicare at age 65 they are granted what is known as Open Enrollment. This means that they a person can get a Medigap Plan without any health questions whatsoever. A person can have cancer, a history of heart attacks and strokes but none of that will come into play because companies are not allowed to decline due to health conditions during Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment starts 3 months prior to age 65 and 3 months afterwards. These are federal guidelines but most Supplement companies extend that to 6 months before and 6 months after turning 65. Thus, a client has a full year of Open Enrollment to take advantage of to get enrolled.
Once a person is outside of Open Enrollment they will need to answer questions to qualify for a Supplement. Companies will have any where from a 2 year to a 5 year look back on their health questions. So, if you have a heart attack is does not mean that you are permanently stuck with your policy. Once you get 24 months past your ailment then you will be eligible to answer the health questions and you can start shopping your rate again.