As a Medicare beneficiary, there are certain periods of time during which your right to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan are protected. These time periods are known as Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue Rights in Colorado.
These Guaranteed Issue Rights are separate from your one time Medicare supplement open enrollment period, which allowed you to select any Medicare Supplement policy without underwriting.
The Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue time periods are outside of your open enrollment period. During these times, Medicare recipients can purchase selected Medicare Supplemental plans without:
- Completing a medical questionnaire
- Concerns about pre-existing health condition exclusions
- Waiting periods
- Possible rate increases
One of the most common Guaranteed Issue Rights concerns your employment. If you continue working for a large employer with more than 20 employees past the age of 65, you have a Guaranteed Issue Right when you leave that employer. The window is typically 6 months long and allows you to purchase a policy free from exclusion, underwriting or surcharges.
Other Colorado Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue Triggers
There are some other Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue Rights centering around Medicare Advantage plans.
If you elect to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in Colorado immediately at age 65, you have the right to change your mind and return to original Medicare within the first 12 months. In this case, the Medicare Supplement is guaranteed issue – meaning the insurance carrier can’t turn you down for any reason.
Another common scenario concerning Medicare Advantage plans and the Guaranteed Issue Rights concerns moving. Medicare Advantage plans are restricted to certain areas, so if you relocate, you could lose your Medicare Advantage plan. Such a case triggers a guaranteed issue right to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan in your new area instead of a Medicare Advantage plan if you choose.
A Guaranteed Issue Right would also be triggered if, through no doing of your own, your Medicare Advantage plan terminates coverage in your area.
Colorado Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue Rules
If you select to use a Guaranteed Issue window time frame to enroll in coverage, note that you must do so within 63 days of the end of the plan.
It is important to check your state’s guidelines concerning Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue rules. Some states go beyond federal laws for Guaranteed Issue and may require that your coverage was lost involuntarily to trigger a GI window.