When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement?
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). This six-month period starts the month a beneficiary turns 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. Once Open Enrollment Period begins, it cannot be delayed or replaced. When enrolling during Open Enrollment Period, Medigap insurance companies cannot:
• Refuse to sell any Medicare Supplement policies
• Charge higher premiums than others who are 65 and older
• Delay the start of coverage
The cost of a premium may depend on a number of personal details such as age, gender, tobacco or non-tobacco user, marital status and location of residence. Individuals with disabilities or health problems will still get the above benefits when enrolling during OEP.
Note that insurance companies cannot reject enrollment for health reasons but there could be a waiting period up to six months before pre-existing conditions are covered. This applies even when enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period.