Answer:

The best time to sign up for Medigap is during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period which for most people starts the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance).[1]

For those who don’t get Part B right away, for example for those who have insurance through an employer or a union, their Medigap Open Enrollment window starts when they get Part B.

If you wait until after your Medigap Open Enrollment Period you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy or may be charged more for a Medigap policy.

Lastly, in most cases people who are already on a Medigap, Medicare SELECT, or Medicare Advantage plan can freely switch between those three plan types each year during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) between January 1 and March 31 and during the Annual Election Period (AEP) between October 15 and December 7.

TIP: If you switch from Medicare Advantage, Medicare SELECT, or Medigap back to Original Medicare only, it has the same effect as not signing up during open enrollment. That is, you could lose your ability to buy a Medigap policy or have to pay more.

FACT: The right to buy a Medigap policy without being charged more is called guaranteed-issue. Medigap is only guaranteed-issue during specific enrollment periods under the specific conditions described above!

Citations

  1. When can I buy Medigap? Medicare.Gov.

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