What is the Medicare supplement “Birthday Rule”? Very simply, this is the date that the participant was enrolled in Medicare. There are benefits to having another “birthday” with Medicare. It helps to determine when a participant can switch Medicare programs and partners.
The main benefit to the Medicare supplement birthday rule is that every year, during the birthday month, participants can go shopping for better coverage. Every insurance provider who offers Medicare packages offer different coverage and prices. All providers are different also in the aspect that each uses their own underwriter. Underwriters each have their own set of standards as to who qualifies and who doesn’t. Some will not accept a client who has a previous medical condition while some will accept anyone who applies. For instance, if a patient has had open heart surgery and still requires medical attention for it, some companies will accept them and cover all costs, while others will require them to wait a certain period of time before the services are covered and some will not even consider that patient for coverage.
Similar to how different companies offer different coverage’s, they also all offer different prices. Many people think that Medicare is the same across the board but this is not the case. Insurance companies profit from the premiums collected from Medicare recipients, therefore; they can charge whatever they want for those premiums. Each year, some insurance companies raise their premiums while others lower theirs. It is a good idea for Medicare participants to utilize the Medicare birthday rule to shop around for the best price available since these prices change from year to year.
The Medicare supplement birthday rule allows participants to change their provider each year during their birthday month. It is a good idea for anyone who receives Medicare benefits to shop around each year for not only the best price, but the best coverage as well.