Generally speaking, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan anytime, but there’s a very important distinction you need to know.
Medigap Open Enrollment Period
The best time to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan is during your initial enrollment into Medicare itself. This initial enrollment period, sometimes called your “Medigap Open Enrollment,” begins the first day of the month you turn 65 and lasts for 6 months AND are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
- If your birthday is April 20, and you enroll in Medicare Part B immediately, your initial enrollment period begins April 1.
- If your birthday is April 20, and you enroll in Medicare Part B on May 13, your Medigap enrollment period begins June 1 (the first day of the month in which you are both 65 AND enrolled in Medicare Part B).
Why it’s important to buy a Medicare Supplement when you turn 65
The best time to buy a Medigap plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment period because during this period you are guaranteed to receive coverage at the standard price.
Outside of this initial enrollment period, a Medicare Supplement provider can decline your coverage or charge you a higher premium because of pre-existing health conditions.
That’s why it’s so important to not only buy a plan during this initial period, but to make sure you get the right plan. (This is why we recommend you buy policies with stable, reputable insurance companies even if they cost a bit more during your initial enrollment period.
Can I get a Medigap Plan after turning 65?
You can certainly apply for a Medicare Supplement plan at any time. You just need to know that after your initial Medigap Open Enrollment period, there are no guarantees that you’ll be approved for coverage. You’ll have to go through medical underwriting, which may or may not be a big deal (depending on your health).
Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina, Georgia, and surrounding states
If you’re in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, or Tennessee, we’ll be happy to talk with you to help you explore your options and find the best Medicare Supplement plan for you.