Your Rights to Buy a Medigap Policy

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Insurance companies must sell you a Medigap plan at certain times:

At other times, insurance companies may refuse to sell you a policy. If you have or had health problems, you may not be able to buy the Medigap plan of your choice unless you are in open enrollment or a guarantee-issue period.

It is important to understand these times because they allow you to get a Medigap plan when a company might otherwise refuse to sell you one (due to your health). If you are relatively healthy, however, you may be able to buy any Medigap policy whenever you want, provided you pass a health screening, if required. Some companies may even sell you a policy without a health screening, unless you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Note: If you have ESRD and you are younger than 65, none of the rights described in the sections below apply to you. See our fact sheet Medicare and People with ESRD (PDF) for information on your options.

In this section:

  1. Open Enrollment

  2. Guaranteed Issue

  3. Other Open Enrollment or Guaranteed-Issue Periods Under California Law

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Updated Feb. 8, 2009

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