There are many reasons why you may want to change your Medicare Supplement. You could be paying for coverage you don’t need, or, want more. Maybe you need to change insurance companies or switch to a less expensive plan.
To change plans you must be within your open enrollment period that provides you with a Guaranteed Issue Right. You can purchase any plan without being denied coverage, or being charged more due to a pre-existing condition. This period lasts for six months, starting when you first join Part B. If you are within your six-month period, you can change without any restrictions. As soon as this period ends, your guaranteed issue right ends. If you have health conditions, plans could cost more, and companies can deny coverage after your open enrollment period.
There are exceptions to the rule, and times when you have a guaranteed issue right to enroll or change plans outside of open enrollment. If your current coverage misleads you or isn’t compliant with the law, you can change plans with no restriction. If the insurance company providing your coverage declares bankruptcy, you can change. If you drop a plan to enroll in Medicare Part C but don’t like it, you have up to a year to switch back to a Medicare Supplement with a guaranteed issue.
You have 30 days to decide if you want to keep the coverage. This Free Look period starts when you first get a new plan and ends 30 days after. Do not cancel your old policy until you are certain you want to keep the new plan. You will be responsible for paying both premiums for one month if you choose to use this right.
Plans sold prior to January 1, 2006, included prescription drug coverage. New plans do not. Many are no longer offered. If you have an older policy and want to change, understand you may not be able to carry these benefits over to the new plan.