Can I Switch to a Different Medigap Policy?

Once you have a Medigap policy changing to a different Medigap policy isn't easy unless you have chosen a Medigap SELECT policy. Medigap SELECT policies limit the providers they cover to a specific network. If you find that you are unhappy using the network doctors and hospitals with a SELECT policy you are able to choose another policy that offers similar or less coverage than your current SELECT policy. The new policy must be with the same company.

The 30-Day Free Look Period for Medigap Policies

Whenever you get a Medigap policy you are given a 30-day "free look" period to decide if you like the policy or not. During this time you can move to another policy as long as you pay both premiums at the same time for 30 days.

Auntie Lou says, "Unfortunately no medical billing moves this fast so the 30-day free look period is fairly useless. You want to see what they pay!"

Some Circumstances Let You Switch Plans Without Penalties

Moving out of the service area is another circumstance where you will be able to switch your Medigap policy. This and only a few other circumstances will provide you the same Guaranteed Issue Rights that you enjoyed during your Open Enrollment Period.

You Can Switch Anytime But It Will Cost You

Provided a new policy will accept you are able to switch your Medigap policy at any time. Unfortunately your Guaranteed Issue Rights will not apply so the policy could be much more expensive than your other policy.

Some states have passed patient friendly laws related to switching Medigap policies. Check with your local SHIP office for details.

Do I need to Change Policies if I have an Older Medigap Policy?

If you have an older Medigap policy that has been discontinued you have the right to keep it. If you switch policies and get a new policy you will not be able to get your old policy back. Sometimes a company goes out of business or discontinues a particular policy. In these circumstances you will be allowed to apply for a new Medigap policy to replace it with Guaranteed Issue Rights.

In summary, anyone can switch Medigap Plans at any time if a new company is willing to take them on. However, unless you have a SELECT plan or move you generally are not able to switch your Medigap policy with the same rights that you had during your Open Enrollment Period. Every state has their own laws and in some states switching plans is easier than in others.