Underwriting is a process used by a company providing a service to determine the amount of risk at stake for providing you (or a group of individuals) insurance, loans, or other similar products. The underwriting process differs between products, but for Medicare Supplement plans requires the following:
- Questions relating to your health.
- List or current prescription medications.
- May include a conversation with the prospective insurance company to review the health questions in more detail.
What kinds of questions do they ask in underwriting?
There are some standard questions that evaluate any recent diagnoses or your kidney health for example. However, some questions are unique to specific carriers or may have special considerations. This is why it can be helpful to use an agent that works with multiple insurance companies so you can easily find a company that matches your needs.
An important thing to keep in mind is that some conditions may have a waiting period before you can apply. This is commonly seen for certain heart conditions, the completion of cancer treatments, and other similar situations.
Why do I need to go through underwriting if I want a new Medicare Supplement plan? I thought my acceptance was guaranteed!
If you qualify for an open Enrollment Period (OEP) or Guaranteed Issue (GI), you will not have to go through underwriting. If you recently applied for Part B coverage, you are eligible for an OEP. There are many ways to qualify for GI, but typically it is used for individuals that are retiring and losing their employer’s coverage. Otherwise, if you do not qualify for OEP or GI status, you will need to go through underwriting to be considered for a new Medicare Supplement plan.