In short, where you live determines whether or not you can obtain Medicare Supplement Insurance before age 65.
States That Offer Medicare Supplement Insurance Coverage
Medicare Supplement Insurance is also referred to as Medigap or MedSup. Some states require insurance companies to offer at least one Medigap plan for individuals younger than 65. If you do not live in one of these states, you could be denied coverage by your insurance company or have a limited number of plans to choose from. When enrolling, you are able to join any Medigap plan offered in your state regardless of pre-existing conditions with some exceptions.
The states listed below do require insurance companies to offer at least one plan:
- California *
- Delaware **
- Massachusetts **
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
- Vermont *
*Not available for those under 65 who have end-stage renal disease.
**Only available for those who have end-stage renal disease.
When to Enroll in Medigap
The Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins the month that you turn 65. For example, if your birthday was September 26, the Open Enrollment Period would begin September 1. You then have six months to enroll in a plan. You must be enrolled In Medicare Part B in order to enroll in Medigap. The dates of the enrollment period cannot be changed.
Medical Underwriting Exam
Some Medigap insurers will require a medical examination. This is a review of your medical history which could determine out-of-pocket prices that you will be charged. It could also result in the denial of coverage.
Individuals obtaining Medigap coverage do have certain rights, also referred to as guaranteed-issue rights. They are as follows:
- If you have a Medicare Advantage plan but move out of this plan's service area, you have the right to purchase a Medigap plan.
- If the insurance company providing your Medicare Advantage plan decides to leave Medicare, you have a right to purchase a Medigap plan.
- If the insurance company providing your Medicare Advantage plan reduces its service area, impacting your coverage, you have a right to purchase a Medigap plan.
Aside from the exceptions noted above, Medigap Insurance companies are required to cover pre-existing conditions and may not increase the premium because of pre-existing conditions.
For help finding a Medicare plan, try our Medicare Cost Revealer. If you have any questions, please contact Medicare at any time at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY users 1-877-486-2048).