22 May My Medicare supplement plan went up 24%. What happens if I switch?
Q. My Medicare supplement plan premium increased 24% in 2023. Can I switch my plan insurance carrier without underwriting in New Jersey?
That’s a big increase.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, are regulated by both federal and state laws, said Michael Green, a certified financial planner with GYL Financial Synergies in Parsippany.
But, he said, the oversight of Medigap plans is the state’s responsibility.
“While federal law guarantees certain protections, such as the right to purchase a Medigap plan during your open enrollment period without medical underwriting, specific rules and regulations can vary by state,” he said.
So let’s look at New Jersey.
“In New Jersey, you may have certain rights and options regarding switching your Medicare supplement insurance carrier without undergoing medical underwriting,” Green said. “New Jersey has a `guaranteed issue’ provision that allows you to change your Medigap plan without medical underwriting in certain circumstances.”
However, Green said, these circumstances are typically limited to specific situations, such as losing your existing coverage or if your insurance carrier goes bankrupt or insolvent.
In most cases you must be within your six-month Medigap open enrollment period to switch your Medigap policy, he said.
It also may be necessary to overlap your old and new policies by one month to ensure that you are happy with the new policy before canceling the original one, he said.
To get accurate and up-to-date information about your specific situation, Green recommends you reach out to the state’s Department of Banking and Insurance, which can provide guidance on switching Medigap plans in New Jersey.
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This story was originally published on May 22, 2023.
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