Your Guide to Medicare Supplement Eligibility
Medicare supplements require individuals to be legal U.S. citizens or permanent residents for a minimum of five consecutive years. They must also already be enrolled in Parts A and B. Most states require individuals to be 65 or older, but there are some insurance carriers that offer plans to Medicare beneficiaries who are younger than 65.
Medigap Eligibility at Age 65
Adults who are already receiving Social Security benefits will be automatically enrolled In Medicare Part A upon turning 65. In some cases, this applies to Medicare Part B as well. Once you are enrolled in both parts, your unique open enrollment period for Medicare supplements begins.
When you enroll during this period, you have guaranteed issue rights to any Medicare supplement plan. You can not be turned away from a plan due to any health conditions or health history reports. The open enrollment period ends six months after your Part B effective date.
Medigap Eligibility Under Age 65
Medicare beneficiaries who are not yet 65 do not have as many options when it comes to Medicare supplements. Some carriers offer plans in some states, but it is usually limited to Plan A, the most basic Medigap plan.
The reason for the lack of choice is because Medicare beneficiaries who are younger than 65 are on Medicare because of a disability. This means that they have higher healthcare costs and are at a higher risk for claims. This also means that the premiums for Plan A are double or triple the amount that someone over 65 would pay. (This is not the case in every state.)
Individuals who hold a Medigap policy under 65 will have the opportunity to choose a new plan when they turn 65. At this time, they will still have guaranteed issue rights.