Medicare Supplement insurance plans work with Original Medicare (Parts A & B) to help with out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare. Also called Medigap, these plans have predictable costs and no network restrictions which mean you can see any doctor who can accept Medicare assignment.
You don’t need a referral to see a specialist and coverage goes with you anywhere you travel in the United States. Enrolling in Medigap during your Initial Enrollment Period allows you to exercise your Open Enrollment Guaranteed Issue Rights. Purchasing a Medigap plan and a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan could give you more complete coverage.
when to apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment because your acceptance is guaranteed. It starts on the first day of the month in which you’re both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. Some states have additional Open Enrollment period and Guaranteed Issue requirements.
MISSING THE IEP
If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), Medicare offers another chance to get coverage. This is known as the General Enrollment Period. The General Enrollment Period is available to you if you didn’t sign up during your Initial Election Period.
The General Enrollment Period runs January 1 – March 31 each year. During this time, you can enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. If you enroll in Original Medicare during the GEP, you may also be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan.
Late enrollment penalties
Missing your Initial Enrollment Period can be costly. Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D may charge premium penalties if you miss you initial enrollment dates, unless you qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.
If you must pay a Medicare Part A Premium Penalty, the penalty is 10%. If you must pay a Medicare Part B Premium Penalty, the penalty is 10% for each 12-month period you delay enrollment. The penalty is 1% of the average Part D premium for each month you delay enrollment in Part D.