Open Enrollment

Medicare Supplement “Open Enrollment” is your exclusive opportunity to enroll in any Medicare Supplement policy and NOT have to answer medical questions.

You CANNOT be turned down during your open enrollment period. Unfortunately, the window is only open for the 6 months following your Part B effective date unless you have other creditable coverage.

The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is not the same as the open enrollment period that happens each fall. Open Enrollment dates for Medicare supplements are different for each person. 

For a select few individuals, there may be two open enrollment windows. People who qualified for Medicare early due to disability will get an initial Open Enrollment window that begins with their Part B effective date. When they turn 65, they will get another 6-month window. 

Once your one-time OEP ends, federal law does not require Medigap insurance carriers to accept you except in certain situations.

Some people delay their enrollment into Part B while they are still working and covered by a group plan. It is only later, when they retire and enroll in Part B, that their Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment is activated.

The window to apply for Medicare opens three months before the month of your 65th birthday. For the people who sign up before turning 65, it is possible to submit a Medicare Supplement application before your Part B effective date. The effective date of the policy will simply align with your Part B effective date. Some carrier will even allow you to apply for a Supplement even before you receive your Medicare card.

Enrollment outside the Open Enrollment window

You can apply for a Medicare supplement policy at ANY TIME. However, in most states, if you do so outside of your enrollment window, you must answer health questions and go through medical underwriting. 

Some states, like California and Oregon, have an annual open enrollment for Supplement policies that usually lasts for 30 days. To qualify, you must already be on a Medicare supplement and be looking to change to an equal or lesser benefit plan.

Annual Open Enrollment in the Fall

The Open Enrollment period runs from October 15th-December 7th and ONLY applies to Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans, which have to be re-visited each year. 

This window of time does NOT allow you to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without answering health questions. 

Medigap Open Enrollment vs Guaranteed Issue

Some people enroll in Part A and Part B and coordinate their coverage with their group plan if they are working past the age of 65. As such, they miss their Open Enrollment window. For these beneficiaries, as long as they maintain creditable employer group health coverage, they will be given a 63-day guaranteed issue window. During that period of time, they can enroll in Medicare Supplement plan without having to answer health questions.