You may intend to replace your Medicare plan because you got better coverage or for personal reason(s). Usually, Medicare enrollees seek to replace their Medigap plans with any of the following:
Another Medigap plan and join prescription coverage plan
Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage
To replace your Medigap plan, you must first cancel your current Medigap coverage. Ensure that the date of cancellation is the same as when your new coverage begins.
If you want to replace your plan, contact an insurance agent in Texas to advise and guide you on the process.
You should first make arrangements for your intended new coverage. That is, apply for coverage from your new insurance provider. If your application is approved, contact your current insurance provider and inform them that you want to terminate your plan. They will let you know how to submit your request. Ensure that the termination takes effect on the date that your new coverage is to begin. For the smoothest transition between Medigap plans and to consider coverage options that may not be publicly available, contact a health insurance agent knowledgeable in Texas Medicare.
Take the following steps to replace your Medigap plan:
Contact the new insurance carrier and apply for your new health coverage.
Once your application is accepted, reach out to your current insurance carrier and notify them that you want to cancel your plan.
Your current insurer will provide you with the steps that you need to take. When canceling to move to a new plan, schedule the cancellation to when your new coverage will start. Avoid having coverage gaps.
Take note of the following when switching your Medigap coverage:
When you switch Medigap plans, you have a free-look period to determine whether you want to keep your new plan. This free-look period lasts for 30 days. If you switch Medigap plans, do not cancel your old plan unless you are sure you want to keep your new one. You will have to pay the premiums for both policies for one month, but you will be able to switch back to your original Medigap plan within the free-look period.
Engage the services of a licensed insurance health agent in Texas that has access to many insurance companies and coverage options. They can help you switch your Medigap coverage by providing you with the best rates and coverage options for you. These services come at no cost because it is the insurance company that pays the agents. So you get free help in finding and choosing the best coverage for your health needs from a professional in the state.
You can decide to conduct research on your own. This option has restrictions because not all plans are available for non-agents to view or examine. While doing the research yourself, you can use tools like Medicare’s Medigap Plan Finder or the Texas Department Insurance (TDI) helpinsure portal. Due to the limitations of these tools, it is best if you use the services of a licensed insurance agent in Texas.
Yes. However, you should only do that in any of these two circumstances:
If you qualify under a guaranteed issue right, or
During your Medigap open enrollment period
Guaranteed issue rights mandate Medigap insurance companies to provide you with coverage at a standard rate, despite your preexisting condition. This may happen if:
You are presently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that is leaving Medicare or ending coverage in your area.
You are presently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and you are moving out of the plan’s service area.
You have Original Medicare, and you want to replace a group health plan that will soon be terminated.
You have Original Medicare and a Medicare SELECT plan, and you move out of the plan’s service area.
You enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) when you were first eligible for Medicare Part A at 65, and in the first year of joining, you intend to switch to Original Medicare.
You left a Medigap policy to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time, and in the first year of enrolling, you want to return to Medigap.
Your Medigap insurance company goes bankrupt or ends your plan through no fault of your own.
You leave a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan because the insurance company misled you or did not follow Medicare rules.
You should consider speaking to a licensed insurance agent in Texas about switching Medigap insurance companies.
Unless one of the following applies, you may not be able to switch Medigap coverage under federal law in most cases:
You are eligible under a particular circumstance or guaranteed issue rights.
In your Medigap open enrollment period.
Guaranteed issue rights, also called Medigap Protections, are rights that you have in some circumstances that ensure that insurance companies offer you Medigap policies, irrespective of your preexisting health conditions. Also, they cannot charge you extra because of your health situation. You have guaranteed issue rights in the following situations:
You have Medicare Advantage coverage and:
your plan is leaving your service area, or
you move out of your plan’s service area, or
your plan has been discontinued, or
your plan is leaving Medicare.
You have Original Medicare and your employer or union group health plan that pays after Medicare is ending.
You have Original Medicare and a Medicare SELECT policy, and you move out of your policy’s service area.
You end your Medigap or Medicare Advantage coverage because your insurance provider misled you or was not complying with the rules.
You lose your Medigap plan because your insurance provider went bankrupt or for no fault of your own.
When you turned 65 and were eligible for Medicare Part A, you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and within the first year, you decided to switch to Original Medicare.
You left a Medigap policy to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (or switch to a Medicare SELECT policy) for the first time, have been in the plan for less than a year, and want to return.
If you try to change your Medigap plan outside this time, you may have to undergo medical underwriting, and you may be rejected if you have a preexisting condition. If you are accepted, you may have to pay more for coverage.