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Medicare Special Enrollment – Know the Facts!

Jun 10, 2018 08:55PM ● By Colleen Callahan

Colleen Callahan

Medicare Special Enrollment – Know the Facts!

Medicare rules offer options for changing Medicare Supplements without answering medical questions, meaning coverage cannot be denied due to pre-existing conditions. In California, the “Birthday Rule” offers Medicare subscribers 30 days of “open enrollment” following their birthday. One may buy a new Medicare Supplement policy without a medical screening or a waiting period. The new policy must have the same or lesser benefits as the old policy. If you have a summer birthday, give yourself a present. A little research could mean a reduction in premiums.

Another option is an insurance company offered Special Enrollment Period (SEP).  One insurance company in California is offering a SEP until December 31, 2018. During this time, anyone with an existing Medicare Supplement plan may transfer to any of the company’s open plans offering benefits equal to or less than benefits provided in their current Medicare Supplement, without underwriting. Subscribers must submit a new application and a Replacement of Medicare Supplement form.

It is nice to have options that don’t require a medical questionnaire. Recently I have learned underwriting rules with life and long-term care insurance are getting tougher. People that once might have qualified in the preferred classification for life insurance are receiving offers with higher ratings.

Long-term care companies are denying more people. The results of a recent study, published by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, show that 30% of applications for those aged 60-69 have been denied. For those ages 70-79, there is a 44% denial rate. Better to apply early!

A reminder of upcoming events:

Wednesday, June 6, 10 - 11:30am, Savvy Seniors, Lafayette Library.

Monday, June 18, 10 - 11:30am, Pleasant Hill Community Center.

Topics include: Paying for Long-Term Care, Medicare 101, and The Basics of Social Security.

Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF

[email protected]