When can I buy a Medigap policy?
Currently 65 or older
- Your Medigap open enrollment period begins when you enroll in Part B and can't be changed or repeated. In most cases, it makes sense to enroll in Part B when you're first eligible, because you might otherwise have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty.
- The best time to get a Medigap policy is during the 6 month period that begins on the 1st day of the month in which you're turning 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. ( example: If you turn 65 and are enrolled in Part B in June, the best time for you to get a Medigap policy is from June to November.)
Have group health coverage through employer or union
- If you have group health coverage through an employer or union because either you or your spouse is currently working, you may want to wait to enroll in Part B. Employer plans often provide coverage similar to Medigap, so you don't need a Medigap policy.
When your employer coverage ends, you'll get the chance to enroll in Part B without a late enrollment penalty which means your Medigap open enrollment period will start when you're ready to take advantage of it. If you enrolled in Part B while you still had the employer coverage, your Medigap open enrollment period would start, and unless you bought a Medigap policy before you needed it, you would miss your open enrollment period entirely.
Outside open enrollment
- If you apply for a Medigap policy after your open enrollment, there's no guarantee that an insurance company will accept your application if you don't meet the medical underwriting requirements.
5 things to know about Medigap policies
- You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
- If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can apply for a Medigap policy, but make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap policy begins.
- You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
- A Medigap policy only covers one person. If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you'll each have to buy separate policies.
- Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company can't cancel your policy as long as you pay the premium.
Medigap policies don't cover everything
Medigap policies generally don't cover long term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty- nursing
A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy helps pay for some health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like co-payments coinsurance and deductibles.