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Switching Medigap policies

4 reasons you may want to switch Medigap policies

  1. You're paying for benefits you don't need.
  2. You need more benefits than you needed before.
  3. Your current Medigap policy has the right benefits, but you want to change your insurance company.
  4. Your current Medigap policy has the right benefits, but you want to find a policy that costs less.

Can I switch policies?

In most cases, you won't have a right under Federal law to switch Medigap policies, unless one of these applies:

  • You're eligible under a specific circumstance or guaranteed issue rights
  • You're within your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period

You don't have to wait a certain length of time after buying your first Medigap policy before you can switch to a different Medigap policy.

See the situations below on switching Medigap policies.

If you have an older Medigap policy, you don't have to switch.

If you buy a new Medigap policy, you have to give up your old policy (except for your 30-day "free look period"). Once you cancel the policy, you can't get it back, and it can no longer be sold because it isn't a standardized policy.

If you bought your policy before 2010, it may offer coverage that isn't available in a newer policy. If you bought your policy before 1992, your policy:

The Medigap insurance company may be able to make you wait up to 6 months for coverage of pre-existing conditions. The number of months you've had your current Medigap policy must be subtracted from the time you must wait before your new Medigap policy covers your pre-existing condition.

The new insurance company can't exclude your pre-existing condition.

If you've had your Medigap policy less than 6 months:

The number of months you've had your current Medigap policy must be subtracted from the time you must wait before your new Medigap policy covers your pre-existing condition.

If the insurance company agrees to issue the new policy, they can't write pre-existing conditions, waiting periods, elimination periods, or probationary periods into the replacement policy.

You may still have to wait up to 6 months before that benefit will be covered, no matter how long you've had your current Medigap policy.

You may still have to wait up to 6 months before that benefit will be covered, no matter how long you've had your current Medigap policy.

You can keep your current Medigap policy no matter where you live as long as you still have Original Medicare. If you want to switch to a different Medigap policy, you'll have to check with your current or new insurance company to see if they'll offer you a different policy.

If you decide to switch, you may have to pay more for your new Medigap policy. You may also have to answer some medical questions if you're buying a Medigap policy outside of your Medigap open enrollment period.

You have the following choices:

  • Buy a standardized Medigap policy from your current Medigap policy insurance company that offers the same or fewer benefits than your current Medicare SELECT policy. If you've had your Medicare SELECT policy for more than 6 months, you won't have to answer any medical questions.
  •  Use your guaranteed issue right to buy any Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L  that's sold in most states by any insurance company.

How to switch Medigap policies

If you decide to change insurance companies, call the new insurance company and arrange to apply for your new Medigap policy. If your application is accepted, call your current insurance company, and ask for your coverage to end. The insurance company can tell you how to submit a request to end your coverage.

Medigap free-look period

You have 30 days to decide if you want to keep the new Medigap policy. This is called your "free look period." The 30-day free look period starts when you get your new Medigap policy. You'll need to pay both premiums for one month.

Don't cancel your first Medigap policy until you've decided to keep the second Medigap policy. On the application for the new Medigap policy, you'll have to promise that you'll cancel your first policy.