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Special Events That Guarantee Your Right to Buy Medicare Supplement Insurance

If you are age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B for the first time, you can take advantage of a six-month open enrollment period.  During this time a company can't turn you down because of health problems, and they must accept you for any policy they sell.  If you had Medicare due to disability before age 65, you will still get an open enrollment period at age 65.

Choices are more limited once your open enrollment period is over, and you want to buy or change plans.  Only a few companies regularly offer Medicare Supplements on a guarantee issue basis and usually limit choices to basic plans.

Guarantee issue means an insurance company does not consider existing health conditions when issuing insurance coverage.  There are some special events when guarantee issue policies must be made available.  For more information on events which trigger a guarantee issue opportunity to purchase a Medicare Supplement, see the Events That Guarantee Your Right to Buy Medicare Supplement Insurance factsheet offered by SHIIP.