If you are 65-years-old or more, you can add Medigap Insurance to complete your Medicare coverage. Medigap or a Medicare Supplement plan covers the “gaps” in Medicare’s benefits. For example, by having Medigap, you won’t have to pay for the 20 percent of doctors’ bills not covered by Medicare.
To apply for a Medicare Supplemental Plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part B and a resident of the state where you apply. It is important to shop for Medigap during your open enrollment period. That begins on the very first day of the month in which you turn 65 and have Part B. Open enrollment lasts for a period of six months.
Applying during open enrollment is very helpful if you have pre-existing health conditions. During this period, there are no health questions asked even if you have pre-existing medical conditions. That means your application won’t be declined and you won’t be charged higher rates for health problems. If you let this chance slip by, your application will be subjected to underwriting and there is a chance that your application could be declined.
Outside of open enrollment and depending on the underwriting policies of different insurance companies, some companies might still approve your Medigap Insurance application even if you have a pre-existing condition. Usually, though, you’ll have to pay higher premiums if underwriting finds a pre-existing problem. Not sure how to explain a health problem to an insurance company? Our personal advisors are ready to answer your questions and help you compare coverage options.

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.