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A Medicare supplemental insurance policy can help you better budget your money every month and provide additional benefits that aren’t covered under Original Medicare. Medicare supplemental plans are available from private insurance companies.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing your supplemental insurance. Many different plans exist, each of which offers a different level of protection.

Although you buy Medicare supplement plans through a private insurance carrier, the plans remain standardized across the board. Regardless of the insurance company, you’ll get the benefits denoted by the supplement plan’s letter, such as F, G, M, or N.

When Are You Eligible for Medigap?

The Medigap Open Enrollment Period generally lasts for six months from the date of eligibility. If you were born in January, you would have until June, six months from December, to apply.

You become eligible for a supplemental plan at the same time you’re eligible for Medicare: the first day of the month when you turn 65. If you were born on the first of the month (e.g. June 1), you’re eligible on the first day of the previous month.

Some states allow younger consumers to apply for Medigap insurance, though such instances prove rare.

When you take advantage of Open Enrollment, you’re not subject to medical underwriting. The company has to offer you a policy if it sells that policy — a rule called “guaranteed issue” — and it typically can’t charge you more if you have pre-existing health conditions.

Plus, your coverage starts right away.

If you’re nearing age 65, it’s time to start shopping for your Medicare supplemental insurance. Decide which plan is right for you today.

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