Sellers of Medicare supplement insurance plans, or Medigap plans, are preparing to pick up business from consumers passing by thanks to other sectors’ open enrollment period marketing campaigns.
The 2017 open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans runs from Sat., Oct. 15 through Wed., Dec. 7.
The Affordable Care Act open enrollment period for ordinary individual major medical plans runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.
The open enrollment period for Medigap plans occurs just once in a lifetime.
A Medigap plan is an insurance policy designed to fill in the many huge gaps in traditional Medicare Part A hospitalization coverage and Medicare Part B outpatient and physician services coverage.
Policymakers designed the current version of the Medigap market in 1990, and they came up with a strict approach to prompting Medicare enrollees to pay for coverage even when they feel healthy, rather than paying for coverage only when they feel like they will have high medical bills.
All consumers can buy Medigap policies on a guaranteed-issue basis, even if they have serious health problems, during a six-month open enrollment period that starts on the first day of the month on which an individual is both 65 or older and is enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Consumers who fail to buy Medigap coverage during that six-month window may have to go through a medical underwriting process. They may not qualify to buy Medigap coverage at all.
But the Medicare Advantage market open enrollment period system creates some extra sales opportunities for Medigap agents.