A one-time six-month period of time at the beginning of Medicare Part B eligibility, during which laws allow Medicare Beneficiaries sixty-five and older to purchase any Medigap plan sold in their state, without denial or higher cost due to previous medical issues.
- For most people, this will be when they are turning 65 and elect to be covered Medicare Part A & B and want to supplement their coverage with a Medigap plan.
- If you wait to sign up with Part B because you have coverage under an employer group plan, in most cases you will delay signing up for Medicare Part B. When you decide to come off that plan and elect Medicare Part B coverage, you will then have your one-time only Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
- There are also a number of “Guaranteed Issue Rights,” which are situations that allow you to elect Medigap coverage without having to pass “Medical Underwriting”. In these cases, you can sign up for a Medigap plan without answering any health questions and the insurance company cannot deny you coverage, charge you a higher rate or limit coverage for a 6 month period due to pre-existing conditions. For a listing of these situations, you can download our book, Medicare Blueprint and look at Appendix C or you can go to Medicare.gov at https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/when-can-i-buy-medigap/guaranteed-issue-rights-scenarios.html
Please remember that Medicare Part C & D plans, by law, cannot exclude you due to pre-existing conditions. The only pre-existing condition they can exclude is End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).