The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, is here, so now is a great time to think about your current Medicare plan and the other options available to you. But while you’re checking out your options, you might be wondering whether you actually have to change your Medicare Supplement Plan every year. The short and simple answer to that question is no, you don’t have to change your plan, nor do you have to renew your Medicare Supplement Plan each year, since it renews automatically. If you do want to change your Medicare Supplement Plan, though, there are some guidelines you have to consider beforehand.
Medicare Supplement Plans Renew Automatically
All Medicare Supplement Plans are guaranteed renewable for the rest of your life as long as you pay your monthly premiums, even if your health status changes while you have your plan, so you never have to stress about renewing your plan. But even though your plan renews automatically, you should still take the time to review it every year!
As we already mentioned, your Medicare Supplement Plan will renew automatically every year, but before it renews, you will receive an Annual Notice Of Change letter in the mail, giving you time to review any changes to your plan. Don’t ignore this mail or the changes to your plan! Doing so could cost you hundreds of dollars, since Medicare Supplement Plan prices typically increase each year. Once you review your Annual Notice of Change letter, you can decide whether your plan will still work for you.
What If You Need To Change Your Plan?
If you’ve reviewed your current plan and have determined that it either no longer works for you, or that the upcoming changes will not suit your needs, it’s time to change your Medicare Supplement Plan. If you’re still within your 6-month Medicare Supplement Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up for or change your plan without having to undergo medical underwriting: you’ll have what’s called guaranteed-issue rights, meaning you can’t be denied or charged more for a plan. If you do want to change your plan outside of your Initial Enrollment Period, you might have to undergo medical underwriting, which might mean being denied or paying more for a plan.
In addition to your Medicare Supplement Initial Enrollment Period, the other times you can change your plan without worrying about being denied is if you:
- Have signed up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, but have decided you want to drop the plan and buy a Medicare Supplement Plan instead (these two types of coverage don’t work together.)
- Have had your current Medicare Supplement Plan for less than six months. If the insurance company agrees to sell you a new policy with the same basic benefits, it can’t add conditions (such as probationary periods) related to pre-existing health problems.
- Are still in your “free look” period – when you change Medicare Supplement Plans, you get 30 days to decide if you want to keep the new plan.
Looking For A Change?
There are 10 different types of Medicare Supplement Plans; it can be overwhelming trying to compare them all, and figure out which one is best for your financial and medical needs. But you don’t have to do it alone – EZ.Insure can help by providing you with a licensed agent to compare plans for you. Our agent will compare all available plans, review your specific needs, and find the perfect match that will provide the right amount of coverage, while saving you money. Our services are free and there’s no obligation. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a local licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.