Can I Change My Medicare Supplement Plan
A very common question that I get is about Changing Medicare Supplement Plans. Well the answer is yes (maybe). Technically you can change your Medicare Supplement Plan but there are some details you need to know. Continue reading for all the information you need about when and how you can change your Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan or call us anytime at 920-545-4884 for a free no obligation consultation.
When can I change my Medicare Supplement
With a true Medicare Supplement Plan, you can change anytime you wish, there is no enrollment period. What you see and hear every fall about changing plans, only applies to Medicare advantage plans and Medicare Part D.
The only issue is, that you will have to go through the underwriting process and answer questions about your health, prescriptions and current status.
Some of the questions will ask if you have ever had _________ , and others will ask if you have had ________ in the last year, 2 years or 5 years.
So it is not so much a question of when can I change my Medicare Supplement Plan as it is "will you qualify to change your Medicare Supplement Plan. Keep reading below as we go through some of the factors the determine eligibility for Changing Medicare Supplement Plans.
Changing Medicare Supplement Plans
Now please do not confuse changing a Medicare Supplement with changing a Medicare Advantage Plan because they are very different plans and have very different circumstances on when and how you can change.
Changing Medicare Advantage Plans
With a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Health Plan you are only allowed to change plans during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), or when you have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) form some sort of life change like moving out of the area, or major change to your existing plan i.e the plan is discontinued.
Other than those specific times you are in a one year contract with the plan, which would bring you back to the annual enrollment or dis-enrollment period.
Changing Medicare Supplement Plans | Knock Out Questions
Every company has what is called the "Knock out Questions". These are questions that if you have to answer yes, automatically disqualifies you and you will not be able to purchase the plan.
These questions will vary slightly from company to company but these questions are very similar for all Wisconsin Medicare Supplement Companies.
Below are some of the most common "knock-out" questions:
- Are you dependent on a wheelchair or any motorized mobility device?
- Are you currently hospitalized, confined to a bed, in a nursing home or assisted living facility?
- Are you currently receiving any occupational or physical therapy?
- At any time have you been medically diagnosed with, treated for, or had surgery for any of the following:
- A. Chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, or kidney disease requiring dialysis?
- Emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), any other chronic pulmonary disorder or any cardio-pulmonary disorder requiring oxygen?
- Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia or any other cognitive disorder?
- Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)?
- Systemic Lupus or Myasthenia Gravis?
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)?
- An organ transplant or been advised to have an organ transplant (excluding cornea transplants)?
- Chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis?
- Osteoporosis with fractures?
This is not a complete list but just some of the major knock-out questions that are common to most carriers. It is always best to call us to discuss your personal situation.
Some other types of questions will ask if you have been: (medically diagnosed, treated, or had surgery for any of the following?) and all companies use this terminology or a version of it.
Each company has its own set of underwriting guidelines, for instance, one company might have a look back of 3 years for cancer and another will have a 5 year look back.
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Changing Medicare Supplement Plans with Diabetes
If you have diabetes you can still pass the underwriting process for changing Medicare Supplement Plans.
Most companies will do it if you are only taking oral medications such as Metformin, but some will even take you if you are on insulin. If you are taking insulin, several companies will only take you if you are under 60 units per day.
The biggest factor in getting accepted for a Medicare Supplement with diabetes is if you have any complications from the disease, such as kidney disease, nephropathy or vascular disease.
So if you are like millions of other American Senior Citizens and were diagnosed with diabetes as you got older you still should be able to change medicare supplement plans.
Remember the Medical questions only apply outside of your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period. During the open enrollment period you can not be turned down for pre-existing conditions.
Changing Medicare Supplement Companies
When you change Medicare Supplement Plans, you are most likely going to be changing the company as well. There are very few companies that will do a plan change without going through the Medicare Supplement Underwriting process.
To be completely honest if you are looking to change your Medicare Supplement it is probably due to rate increases. It makes perfect sense that since company A is charging you more than you would like to pay that we would now look at company B and C.
This is where Medicare Solutions Team really shines, we know Wisconsin Medicare and we carry over 20 Medicare Supplement companies. We know the ones that are friendlier to certain conditions and the supplemental insurance companies that cater to the older Wisconsin residents.
You can run your own quote here on our page, but if you are looking to change a plan that you have had for a few years, the easiest and most efficient way is to call us at 920-545-4884 or fill out the form for an appointment here. We can discuss your unique situation and recommend the Wisconsin Medicare Supplement that will serve you best.