Will Poor Health Prevent Me From Switching to a New Medicare Supplement?
There are lots of reasons you might be dissatisfied with your current health insurance plan. Perhaps you’ve had a Medicare Supplement for a few years and the premiums have been creeping up into the stratosphere. Or—if you are in an Advantage Plan—maybe you are sick and tired of an ever-changing benefits package or pesky out-of-pocket expenses like copays or coinsurance.
Regardless of the reason, you realize it’s time to switch.
If you’re in good health, it’s simple. You make like a Nike commercial and just do it.
But what if you battle blood pressure or cholesterol? What if you have diabetes? What if you have a personal history of cancer or heart trouble on your records? Or even an open heart surgery?
Well, in this case, I’d like to be the bearer of good news. It may not be as easy for you, but there’s still a really good chance you can switch.
As a quick side note, if you are in a Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period or a Guaranteed Issue Period, you are completely in the clear. No insurance company can deny you coverage.
But if you aren’t in one of those periods and you just want a better premium or benefits package, you can also switch.
Why? You’ll be happy to know…
Medicare Supplement Underwriting is Not as Selective as You Might Think.
Prior to Obamacare, health insurance for people under the age of 65 was much stricter. People with more serious health issues were often immediately turned away. The approach to questioning might be something like this:
- Have you had cancer in the last 10 years?
- Do you have a history of heart problems?
- Do you have diabetes and take insulin?
But the Medicare Supplement underwriting process is significantly less harsh. Since Medicare is footing part of the bill for them, they aren’t taking on near as much risk. And because they aren’t taking on as much risk, they can be a bit more lax. A Supplement company’s approach to those same questions might look something like this:
- Have you had cancer in the last 10 years? Well, as long as it’s not in the past two, we can make this work.
- Do you have a history of heart problems? Well, have you been stable over the past two years?
- Do you have diabetes and take insulin? Let’s take a closer look.
I’m not saying there aren’t some companies who will still deny you. You’re always going to have that. But I would like to widen your perspective a little bit. Just because Anthem denies you coverage doesn’t mean another one will.
There Are Many, Many Medicare Supplement Companies Out There!
In fact, according to page 27 of the Ohio Department of Insurance’s Medicare Supplement guide, there are 43+ Medicare Supplement companies just in Ohio. You have to think, these companies have diverse ways of evaluating the health of their potential policyholders. Chances are you will find one that will take a chance on you!
At our practices in Sidney and Vandalia, Ohio, we’ve had a lot of luck with the smaller companies who are trying to be more competitive. They are often more likely to take a look at your individual situation and seek clarification rather than put your application through the shredder at the first mention of a chronic disease. Then, after a close analysis of your situation, they make their final decision.
So don’t stay in a plan you hate.
So if you premium is too high, if the copays are frustrating, or if you just plain don’t like it, shop around! Just don’t cancel your current policy until you have another one in place.
If you want to shop supplement rates in your area without inputting any personal information, you can compare Medicare Supplement rates here.
Do You Want A Licensed Medicare Expert to Help You Shop A Supplement?
Seniormark is always here to help. We represent dozens of diverse, competitive companies in the area. Call us at 937-492-8800 and we will help you shop a plan for your unique needs and budget!