What Is “Guaranteed Issue” For A Medicare Supplement?

Guaranteed issue rights at appointed by law, which states that insurance companies must offer Medicare participants the option of purchasing one of the Medigap Medicare supplement insurance policies. These protection rights ensure that Medigap Medicare supplement insurance coverage cannot be denied based on specific conditions of the Medicare participant. The Medicare participant cannot be charged higher costs for Medicare supplement insurance premiums due to pre-existing condition and purchases outside of the normally schedule open enrollment periods may be allowed without penalty.


Guaranteed issue rights for Medicare supplement insurance apply when health care coverage’s change, such as transitioning from an employer’s group insurance to Medicare Medigap. The Medicare participants, who have reached the age of 65, need to apply before the group insurance ends, ensure uninterrupted medical coverage. The early enrollment allows the Medigap Medicare supplement insurance to begin the day after the group coverage ends.


Guaranteed issue rights apply to Medicare supplement insurance if plan services are no longer avaiable or has been eliminated from the Medicare Program. The Medicare participant relocates from the existing area and needs to change Medigap policies available in the new area. The Medicare participants lose the selected Medicare supplement insurance because the private insurance carrier is no long in business or is no longer an approved provider for Medigap. The Medicare participant dropped a Medicare supplement insurance plan to join another Medicare plan for the first time with less than one year into the new plan and wishes to restore the older plan.


Private insurance companies are required to sell Medicare participants Medigap Medicare supplement coverage. Even though the plan choices offered from the private insurance carriers may be limited, they must cover existing health conditions.

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