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Medicare Supplement Guarantee Issue

There are at least five different situations during which you can get a Medicare Supplement with “guaranteed issue”. This means you don’t have to answer any medical questions and cannot be denied a Medigap policy.

1) When you turn 65, or are first using your Medicare Part B, you have a six-month window to get a Medicare Supplement with “guaranteed issue”.  This means you don’t have to answer any medical questions and you are accepted no matter what your health status. After that most companies will require you to answer medical questions, some of which might disqualify you from their plans.

2) If you have been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for less than one year, Medicare rules allow you to drop your Advantage plan and go back to Medicare.  You can also get a Medicare Supplement with no questions asked.  This is called “guaranteed issue”.

3) If your Medicare Advantage plan is canceled, you will receive a letter that says you can change to another Advantage plan, or you can get a Medicare Supplement under “guaranteed issue”.  Even if you are 80 years old and in poor health, you will be accepted for a Medicare Supplement from any company you choose.

4) If you are losing group coverage involuntarily or voluntarily, you can get a Medicare Supplement with no questions asked. Some retirement health plans or group Medicare Supplement plans get expensive and people decide on their own to drop this coverage.  A person in this situation can apply for a Medicare Supplement and check the box for “guaranteed issue”.  There is some other information on the application that must be filled in correctly, so it can be helpful to have a knowledgeable insurance agent’s help.  A letter from the group plan documenting the end of coverage under that plan should be submitted with the Med Supp application.

5) If you have been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and you move out of the plan’s service area, you can get enroll in a new Advantage plan in your new county of residence – or you can apply for a Medicare Supplement and get guaranteed issue.  I must admit I had not realized this until I attended a meeting about the AARP Medicare Supplement. How could I haven not known this?  I don’t think I’ve seen it in the Medicare and You handbook.

Filling out a Medicare Supplement application can be a bit tricky when using your guaranteed issue status, so it is a good idea to get help from an insurance agent

 

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