If you’re about to turn 65, now is the time to think about purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan. Your Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement Plans automatically starts the first month you have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and you’re 65 or older, and lasts for 6 months. During this time you can avoid medical underwriting and get a much better deal on a plan. Not only that, but you will also have the ability to change plans within 30 days of purchasing your plan if you’re not happy with it.
But what if those 30 days are up, and your plan has changed or no longer fits your needs? What if a year has passed, or even a couple of years? Did you know that, in some states, you can change your plan every year without medical underwriting? In states that have adopted what is known as the Medicare Supplement Plan Birthday Rule, Medicare beneficiaries can change plans around their birthday each year. Find out which states have this rule, and how it works, so you can save money and find a plan that suits your needs.
The Birthday Rule
The Medicare Supplement Plan Birthday Rule applies to people with Medicare Supplement Plans, and not to those with Medicare Advantage Plans. If your state has this rule, you will have an Open Enrollment Period each year on your birthday that allows you to change your Medicare Supplement Plan to a different one that meets your budget and medical needs.
Each state’s birthday rule is different, with some allowing you to change to another plan or insurance carrier, while others only allow you to change plans from the same insurance carrier. You can make these changes without going through medical screening or having a new waiting period.
Which States Have The Medicare Supplement Plan Birthday Rule?
Currently, California and Oregon have birthday rules; Illinois and Nevada will be adding the rule in January of 2022, and Idaho will be adding it in March of 2022. Each state has its own sets of rules:
- California: You can change to a plan that is of equal or lesser benefit from any carrier 30 days before your birthday, and the 60 days following it.
- Oregon: You can change to any insurance carrier or plan of equal or lesser benefit 30 days before your birthday and 30 days following it.
- Illinois: If you are between the ages of 65 and 75, you will be able to enroll in any plan from your current insurance carrier starting on your birthday, and for the following 45 days. Your new Medicare Supplement Plan’s benefit level cannot exceed that of your current plan.
- Nevada: Starting on the first day of your birth month, and for the 61 days following your birthday, you will be able to change your insurance carrier or plan to one that offers equal or lesser benefits.
- Idaho: Starting on your birthday, and for the following 63 days, you will be able to enroll in another plan of equal or lesser benefit from any insurance carrier.
Why Change Your Plan?
Life changes, and so can your budget and medical needs – and the Medicare Supplement Plan that you purchased when you were 65 might no longer meet those needs. That means it might be time to assess your plan and consider switching if you can, so you can get more coverage, or save some money. The best way to find the Medicare Supplement Plan that is right for you is to assess your needs and budget, and then compare all available plans in your area. Working with an EZ agent will make the process quick and easy, because we give you quotes in minutes. No hassle or obligation, just free help finding and comparing plans. 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 licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.