Medigap policies for Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans are guided under Federal law switching Medicare Supplemental Insurance in midstream may not be possible immediately. If the Medicare participant is in the 6 month open enrollment period the plan may allow a switch of plans under the guaranteed issue rights. Private insurance company policy plans may have some flexibility to switch to a different Medicare Supplement within one of the programs.
Depending on when the Medigap policy was activated, same coverage and cost containments may not be available with newer Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans. Older policy plans may not have been standardized and premiums costs could be larger than today’s options. Recommendations are not to cancel or interrupt existing policies plans until an administrator is notified of the request for change. Caution should be taken if the Medicare participant is switching from an older plan to a newer plan. Once the older plan has been canceled the Medicare participant cannot restore the older plan.
It may be necessary to wait when submitting a request for a change of Medicare Supplement plans. If the Medicare participant in still within the first 6 months of selecting a supplement plan, the insurance company may insist that the plan remain intact until the end of the 6 months. Pre-exiting conditions may require that a policy remain in place for at least 6 months prior to changing Medicare Supplement to prevent an exclusion from other policies. If the switch is allowed and the newer Medicare Supplement has a benefit that was not included in the older policy, the insurance company may require a holding period before the new benefit becomes active.