When you were first eligible, you may have signed up for a Medigap plan since you are aware that conventional Medicare does not have an upper limit and you are concerned about your Medicare spending. A Medicare Supplemental plan can help cover some of the original costs of Original Medicare, such as: Co-payments, coinsurance, and deductible. However, your situation may have changed and you now want to cancel your Medigap plan because:
You are quite healthy and do not have much medical expenses. Probably your Medicare supplement plan does not cover many copayments, coinsurances or deductibles for you, and it seems unnecessary.
You have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and you know that you cannot use a Medicare supplement plan to pay your Medicare Advantage premiums, copayments, and deductibles. The Medicare supplement does not work with Medicare Advantage plan.
Canceling your Medicare supplemental plan
There are no withdrawal periods or specific procedure to cancel your Medigap supplement policy. You may unsubscribe anytime you want. Simply contact your insurance company and let them know you want to cancel your policy. Your coverage may be delayed until the end of the month for which you have already paid and ends the following month.
Things to think about before canceling your Medicare supplement plan
It may be easier to give up your Medigap plan than to get it back. So carefully make a decision.
If you enrolled for Medicare Advantage, it is illegal for anyone to sell an additional Medicare policy to you unless you return to Original Medicare (Part A and B). This law is designed to protect you from purchasing useless insurance because a 2019 Medicare supplement plan will not benefit you if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.
Should you opt to cancel your Medicare Advantage policy, you will usually get Original Medicare if you are still eligible. However, you may not be eligible for a Medicare supplement unless you have a “guaranteed issue” or a “trial right”. If you choose Medicare Advantage, there is the option of trying a Medicare Advantage plan, but still enroll for a Medigap policy.
In general, you must exercise the trial rights within one year of enrollment in the Medicare Advantage plan.
Having guaranteed rights implies that an insurance company usually has to sell you a supplemental Medicare policy, covers all your existing health conditions and does not charge you for any health problems. Under certain circumstances, you can receive a guaranteed issue e.g:
- You switch to Original Medicare as your Medicare Advantage plan has left Medicare
- You change to Original Medicare as your Medicare Advantage stops caring for your environment
- You are leaving the service area of your Medicare Advantage plan and switching to Original Medicare
- You are giving up your Medicare Advantage plan or the Medicare supplement because the insurance company has cheated or committed fraud
If you do not have guaranteed rights, a Medicare supplement insurance company may deny you coverage under your existing terms or charge a higher fee for a policy than you previously paid for the same policy.