Under Age 65 Medicare Supplement

States with under-age 65 Medicare Supplement plans:

If your state is not listed below, Under-Age 65 Medicare Supplement policies are not available.

California, Colorado, Connecticut (plan A only), Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland (plans A & C), Massachusetts, Michigan (plan A & C only), Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma (plan A only), Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas (plan A only), Vermont, Wisconsin.

Medicare Supplement policies are only guaranteed enrollment during open enrollment and special enrollment periods.  Otherwise you must answer the health questions on the application.  And being on disability, this may be a difficult task.

First Step – do you qualify for a Medicare Supplement?

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** Very Important:  If you have been on Medicare for less than 6 months, you are still in the “Initial Enrollment Period,” which allows you to enroll in a Medicare Supplement … guaranteed.  As long as you are in a State which offers them to under age 65 members.  If you have been on Medicare A & B or longer than 6 months, you need to see if you qualify for any other “Guaranteed-Issue” period.  If not, you will most likely not be eligible for a new Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy.

Do you qualify for “guarantee issue” with your Medicare Supplement enrollment?  If you are under age 65 and disabled, you may be eligible for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy of your choice.  Medicare Supplement policies are purchased when an individual becomes eligible for Medicare Parts A and B.

Initial Open Enrollment Period … Once your Medicare “B” coverage starts, you have an Initial Open Enrollment period of six months, this is a “guaranteed-Issue” period where you have a guaranteed enrollment regardless of your current or previous health status.

You can purchase any Medicare Supplement policy from any company offering under age 65 Medigap plans in your state.  Also, be aware you have 3 months to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, once your Medicare Part B starts.

Please read the guarantee issue guidelines.  If you are within one of these situations, and live in a state which allows under age 65 Medicare Supplement plans, you can enroll.  If not, it may be very difficult to be approved for a Medigap policy.

Under-Age 65 with ESRD … If you are under age 65 and are now on Medicare because of ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease), many states will allow you to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, although Medicare Advantage companies will not.

If you have an employer health insurance plan or currently on a Medicare Advantage plan you may have opportunities for continued Medicare Advantage coverage.  Under-age 65 with Medicare and ESRD may work differently than a person 65 or over with Medicare and ESRD, depending on your state of residence.  Contact me and we can see what is available to you.

Disability … When Does Medicare Start?  People who can establish that they suffer from long-term disabilities that prevent them from working can qualify for monthly Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) payments and Medicare.  Individuals who file for social security disability benefits and are approved will be eligible at some point to receive medicare benefits, usually after 24 months.  Individuals who are approved for SSI disability will initially receive Medicaid.

2 Years … To receive Medicare benefits you will have to wait two years after the first date that you are entitled to receive a Social Security disability benefit.  Unless you have insurance currently, this means you may be without health insurance coverage for up to two years.  If you do have health insurance, do NOT cancel it when you first learn that you have been approved for Social Security disability, until you know when your Medicare coverage will begin.

Medicare Part B Effective Date … If you currently have an employer group health plan or union plan you do not have to enroll in Medicare’s Part B plan.  When you know the plan will end you can call the Social Security office near you (800-772-1213) and tell them you are ready to start your Part B coverage.  They can send you the appropriate paperwork to get you started.

Open Enrollment Rights for Disabled Persons … Disabled beneficiaries who are covered by Medicare before age 65 can use the Open Enrollment period again after attaining age 65 to apply for a new Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy with the same or a different insurer.

The benefits of reapplying after attaining age 65 may include: 1) getting better rates for the same policy from the beneficiary’s current insurer; 2) switching to an insurer not available to the beneficiary when he/she was under age 65; and 3) upgrading benefits while getting the “best rate” offered to all individuals over 65.

John Conner

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Medicare Options along with Individual and Group International Medical Insurance Options.