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Guaranteed Issue Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Rights by State


There are a few circumstances in which you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy outside of your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period without responding to underwriting health questions. When you use guaranteed issue rights, for example.

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There is a possibility that your application will be rejected if you have pre-existing medical issues and must go through the underwriting process. Thus, it’s crucial to understand when you might avoid providing answers to these inquiries.

Below, we go through how guaranteed issue rights operate in various situations and everything you need to know if you’re in danger of losing your insurance and want to sign up for a Medigap plan.

What Does Guaranteed Issue Mean?

An insurance provider cannot deny you a Medicare Supplement plan for any reason if you have a guaranteed issue. Therefore, you won’t have to provide information about your health to the underwriter if you have assured issue rights.

It is crucial to take advantage of the enrollment window if you have guaranteed issue rights as a result of a specific condition because it might not occur again. Medicare enrollment does not guarantee to issue rights to every participant. Furthermore, a guaranteed issue right has a finite lifespan.

What is the Guaranteed Issue for Medicare Supplement?

Guaranteed issue rights, often known as Medigap protections, forbid insurance carriers from undercharging or excluding you from a Medigap policy due to any pre-existing medical issues. The statute shields Original Medicare recipients from unethical medical underwriting.

Guaranteed issue rights make this defense possible. Understanding all of your Medicare Supplement rights, safeguards, and when you can use assured issue privileges is crucial.

There are a few situations in which assured issue rights are applicable. They typically happen if you utilize a trial right, move out of your policy’s coverage area, or lose coverage for causes beyond your control.

Scenarios That Grant You Guaranteed Issue Rights:

  • You first enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan after leaving a Medicare Supplement plan, stay in the plan for less than a year, and then decide to switch back to Medicare Supplement (trial right)
  • You enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you turned 65, and you want to transfer to a Medicare Supplement plan during the first year (trial right)
  • You move outside the plan service area or your Medicare Advantage plan stops providing coverage in your area
  • You choose to leave the plan’s service region while enrolled in Medicare SELECT.
  • Your employer’s Medicare supplement plan expires
  • The Medicare corporation broke the rules or intentionally misled you.
  • Your Medicare Supplement insurer goes out of business

What If My Medicare Supplement Plan Suspends My Coverage?

A Medicare Supplement insurance provider is unlikely to revoke your coverage. However, to be eligible for a plan change with a guaranteed issue right if your existing insurance provider is ending your coverage, you must have the following information:

  • A disenrollment letter from your insurance provider
  • The date your coverage ends
  • The applicant’s name on the documentation

Once you are eligible, you can choose any insurer to enroll in a Medicare Supplement policy with and avoid the health questions, ensuring coverage.

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What If My Employer Plan That Supplements Medicare is Ending?

Your guaranteed issue right expires 63 days after you lose coverage if your employer notifies you that your health insurance is going away. You can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan starting 60 days before you lose coverage. To avoid medical underwriting, you must apply for Medigap no later than 63 days after the termination of your employer-sponsored insurance.

If you have COBRA coverage, you have two options: wait until it expires or gets a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan right away.

What If I Involuntarily Lose Group Coverage?

It is an unintentional loss of group coverage when your insurer terminates your coverage under your plan. This applies even if the insurance provider declares bankruptcy.

Involuntary indicates that neither you nor the insurance is ceasing because of non-payment. If you are unintentionally losing your group insurance, you can be eligible for guaranteed issue supplemental insurance.

What If I’m Voluntarily Losing Group Coverage?

You decide to leave your carrier if you are voluntarily losing group insurance. The following details should be available when you speak with an agent about signing up for a new plan:

  • The date that the coverage ends
  • Documentation on your employer or carrier letterhead
  • Indication of whether the coverage is primary or secondary

What If My Medicare Carrier Didn’t Follow the Rules?

You can be entitled to guaranteed issue rights for a new policy if a company misrepresents itself to you or violates the regulations for Medicare Supplement policies. You might need to complain to Medicare, though. You will receive a guaranteed issue right to enroll in new coverage after your appeal is accepted.

Medigap Guaranteed Issue Rights by State

Special guaranteed issue rights apply to policyholders in some states. Beneficiaries have the option to switch Medigap policies without going through an underwriting process thanks to these state-specific regulations.

To ensure a smooth transfer while using these state-specific guaranteed issue rights, you must present the required paperwork.

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You will need the following documents for a Medigap-to-Medigap policy change:

  • a duplicate of your current Medicare Supplement ID card that shows your name and the current plan letter
  • Your complete name must be on the last three months’ worth of payment documentation.

You will need the following documents for a Medicare Advantage-to-Supplement policy change:

  • Proof of disenrollment
  • Policy end date

If you do not currently have coverage through a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan, you can be subject to medical underwriting.

Guaranteed Issue Rights with Loss of Medicaid

Medicare Supplement plans are not covered by Medicare Advantage’s guaranteed issue rights policies. Therefore, if Medicaid is lost, you could or might not be eligible for guaranteed enrollment in a Medicare Supplement plan.

The state in which you reside ultimately determines whether you are eligible. You can postpone until the month of your 65th birthday if you are under that age. After that, you can enroll in Medicare Supplement coverage.

When you apply for new coverage, you will need:

  • Your Medicaid termination letter
  • Coverage end date
  • The applicant’s name

Are Medicare Supplement Plans Guaranteed Issue?

Depending on when your Original Medicare coverage started, you may be able to use some plans with guaranteed problems. Beneficiaries must adhere to MACRA when using guaranteed issue rights.

This means that only the following plans are qualified for a guaranteed issue right for people who enrolled in Original Medicare before January 1, 2020:

  • Medicare Supplement Plan A
  • Medicare Supplement Plan B
  • Medicare Supplement Plan C
  • Medicare Supplement Plan F
  • Medicare Supplement High Deductible Plan F
  • Medicare Supplement Plan K
  • Medicare Supplement Plan L

On the other hand, those who joined Original Medicare following January 1, 2020, can sign up for the following:

  • Medigap Plan A
  • Medigap Plan B
  • Medigap Plan G
  • Medigap High Deductible Plan G
  • Medigap Plan K
  • Medigap Plan L

It should be noted that those who were on Original Medicare before January 1, 2020, are not qualified to sign up for Medicare Supplement Plan G through assured issue rights. You must go through medical underwriting to sign up for Medigap Plan G if you were a beneficiary of Medicare before that date.

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Are Medicare Advantage Plans Guaranteed Issue?

Medicare Advantage programs will never ask applicants to submit a health underwriting form. Therefore, all Medicare Advantage plans are essentially guaranteed issues. In contrast to a Medicare Supplement plan, though, not exactly.

Everybody will be able to obtain healthcare through Medicare Advantage plans, regardless of their health status. You must, however, take into account the possibility of higher out-of-pocket expenses than a Medicare Supplement plan. It’s also important to be aware that your Medicare Advantage plan can require you to use a particular doctor’s or hospital’s network. Keep in mind that you must be in a valid Medicare Advantage enrollment period to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. You cannot enlist whenever you want.

As a result, while enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan does not require you to respond to health-related underwriting questions, you might not be eligible for the benefits that come with a Medicare Supplement plan.

How to Get Help Understanding Guaranteed Issue Rights

Understanding enrollment periods is crucial to ensure you always have the greatest coverage, regardless of whether you are new to Medicare or you registered years ago.

To assist you in selecting the finest Medicare coverage possible, our certified Medicare agents are prepared to compare your available alternatives for coverage.

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