How to Change Medigap  Plans

Under Federal law, unless you are within the Medigap open enrollment period or have specific circumstances which qualify you, you are not eligible to switch Medigap policies. Although, your state may have developed requirements that are more generous than the Federal Government, or you may be able to purchase a Medigap policy directly from an insurance company. However, before you go through all the paperwork to switch, take the time to compare the premiums and benefits.

Medigap policies in effect before 1992 contain coverage that is not available in polices commencing after 1992. However, the newer Medigap policies may have provisions for guaranteeing renewal and maintaining premium rates and coverage that the older policies do not contain.

If you have reviewed the policies and decided to switch your Medigap coverage, you have a 30 day “free look” period to review the new policy and see if you want to keep it. Your 30 day period begins when you receive the new policy. It is worth it to pay the double premium that first month to delay canceling your initial Medigap policy until 30 days after the start of your new Medigap policy. When you completed the application for the new Medigap policy, you had to state that you would cancel your first Medigap policy. Once you have finished reviewing your new policy and have decided that you want to keep it, then you can cancel your old policy.

Reasons to Switch Medigap Plans:

You may want to switch Medigap plans for various reason, some of which include:

• There are benefits not offered with your current plan that you need.

• There are benefits in your current plan that you do not need.

• Your present Medigap policy has the benefits you need, but you want a more cost-effective policy.

• Your present Medigap policy has the benefits you need, but you would rather be with another insurance company.

After you receive the new policy, it is very important that you compare the benefits of the new Medigap policy with the benefits from your old Medigap policy.

If you make the decision to change your insurance company, you should call the new insurance company and apply for your new Medigap policy. Once accepted, you must call your current insurance company to request a termination of your present insurance. Your old insurance company will give you instructions on how to formally terminate your coverage.