A person who turns 65 may wonder when he or she has to reveal a preexisting condition to the Medicare program. The truth is that a person should reveal the condition when he signs up for Parts A or B. Medicare begins coverage for conditions a person had before becoming eligible immediately. Some confusion exists because Medigap policies operate under considerably different rules than does the larger program. A person must reveal his preexisting conditions for a Medigap plan when he applies to the company.
The primary difference between the two programs is when each program will cover the condition. While Medicare wants to know about the overall state of a person’s health when he or she applies, it does not make a person go into a waiting period for Parts A or B coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans may operate under different rules. If a person has a Medigap policy, he may have to wait for up to six months before the Medigap plan will provide coverage for his preexisting condition. While this may cause great inconvenience and financial distress for the patient with the preexisting condition, it is still better than have no insurance at all.
At the moment, the best thing to do is wait and see if the rules governing what insurance companies can and cannot do for a person with a preexisting condition take effect. Until then, a person simply has to wait it out and schedule any expensive treatments that he can put off until after the Medigap waiting period is over, assuming the person buys a Medigap policy. If a person absolutely needs a procedure done for his own health, it is not a good idea to wait.