You can buy a Medigap policy if you are enrolled into Medicare Part A and Part B. Medigap plans help you to minimize the out-of-pocket expenses of Original Medicare plans and extend the coverage offered by them. These plans act as supplementary coverage to be used with Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medigap Open Enrollment Period
The first and best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your open enrollment period. This period starts when you are 65 and enrolled into Medicare Part B. This period lasts till six months from that day. It is possible to even buy after your open enrollment period is over, but it is not in your best interest.
Advantages of Buying Medigap Policy During Open Enrollment Period
Although you can buy a Medigap policy even after your six-month open enrollment period is over, it has certain disadvantages.The biggest disadvantage being the higher premiums.
Insurance companies selling Medigap plans have the discretion to make applicants go through the medical underwriting process and fix their premiums depending on their health conditions. However, they are not allowed to do this if anyone applies during their open enrollment period. During this period, insurance companies must approve the Medigap policy irrespective of the health condition of the applicant.When you apply outside your open enrollment period, you run the risk of being rejected by the insurance company on grounds of bad health conditions.
Another advantage of applying during this period is that insurance companies cannot charge you a higher monthly premium even if you have health issues. Your monthly premiums would be the same as a healthy person for that particular policy.
In case you are unable to buy your Medigap policy during your six-month period, you should find out if you are eligible to get guaranteed approval based on your personal situation.