Your individual Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period is the period of time in which you can purchase a Medicare Supplement from any insurance company, without having to qualify medically, pay a higher rate due to any current or former health conditions, or wait for coverage. Open Enrollment is Federally-mandated, so every company has to abide by it. check over here
When Is It?
This initial enrollment period begins for each individual on the first day of the month in which they are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. It lasts for a period of six months from that date. For example, if your birthday is March 3 and you enroll in Medicare Part B to start on March 1 of that same year, your Open Enrollment period would begin on March 1 and last through the month of August.
One thing that causes confusion in understanding when the Open Enrollment period falls is the fact that many Medicare Supplement companies also extend a six month period prior to the start of one’s Open Enrollment. During this period, companies allow you to sign up for coverage that is not effective until the actual Part B effective date (often the same as the first day of the month in which you turn 65). So in that case, an individual would have a 12-month period in which he/she could sign up with no medical underwriting.
If you have employer group health insurance, it is sometimes wise to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B until if and when you lose or terminate that group coverage. What this does is guarantees you the ability to have an Open Enrollment period at the later time that you do sign up for Medicare Part B.
How Does It Work?
During this period, you do not have to answer any medical questions, take a physical or discuss medications with the Medicare Supplement insurance companies.
Essentially, your application is void of medical information. This allows underwriting to be quick, and you can, in most cases, get the coverage in a timely manner with little complication.
Under no circumstances can the insurance company decline you coverage or force you to pay a higher rate based on your past or current health.
It is imperative that you sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan during Open Enrollment. Failure to do so can cause problems for you later, if you wish to sign up then. At that point, you would have to qualify medically (i.e. be in reasonably good health) in order to be eligible for a plan. Signing up during your initial Open Enrollment period is the only sure way to avoid that dilemma and secure a financial future of minimized health care expenses.