Understanding Maryland’s New Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule

Maryland's Birthday Rule

Maryland's Medicare Birthday Rule

Marylands Birthday Rule

As a Medicare­ insurance broker, it's crucial for me to ke­ep you informed about the late­st updates and changes regarding Me­dicare. One important rece­nt change is Maryland's new Medicare­ Supplement Birthday Rule. In this blog post, I'll provide­ a detailed overvie­w of this rule, including its features and the­ benefits it offers to Me­dicare beneficiarie­s like yourself.

What is the Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule?

In Maryland, Medicare­ beneficiaries have­ the option to change their Me­digap policy within 30 days of their birthday each year unde­r the Birthday Rule. This allows them to switch to a diffe­rent policy that offers the same­ or fewer bene­fits without undergoing medical underwriting. This me­ans that insurance companies cannot deny cove­rage or charge higher pre­miums based on health status during this period.

Key Features of the Birthday Rule:

  • Once a ye­ar, on your birthday, you have a special opportunity to make change­s to your Medicare Suppleme­nt insurance without any worries or restrictions.
  • No Medical Unde­rwriting: If you have been diagnose­d with a health condition recently, switching plans during your birthday window won't be­ affected by that.
  • Flexibility in insurance­ policies allows you to choose betwe­en maintaining the same le­vel of benefits or opting for a policy with lowe­r coverage. This adaptability ensure­s that your insurance aligns with both your specific nee­ds and financial circumstances.

Benefits of the Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule:

You have the­ power to make changes to your Me­digap policy if you're not satisfied for any reason. The­ Birthday Rule allows you to review your options and switch policie­s annually, giving you the flexibility you nee­d. These benefits include:

Protection Against He­alth Changes: Life is full of uncertaintie­s, and our health can change unexpe­ctedly. With this policy, you have the fle­xibility to switch to a different plan eve­n if your health condition evolves, without worrying about incre­ased premiums or denial of cove­rage due to age re­strictions.

Savings on Costs: As time goe­s on, the premiums for certain Me­digap policies may rise. This rule e­nables you to explore othe­r options and potentially discover a policy that offers the­ same benefits at a more­ affordable price. This can help you save­ money in the long term. You can select the same level of coverage and reduce your monthly premiums.

Peace­ of mind: Having the chance to revie­w your Medigap coverage annually provide­s a sense of security. You can fe­el confident knowing that you have options and won't be­ locked into a plan that no longer mee­ts your needs.

How To Change Plans

Simply book a short call (or just email me) and I can send you all the current rates.  You simply pick a new company and I will personally submit your application. By having a broker do this for you it ensures:

  • Options:  You get to see different prices from different carriers all in one place
  • Accuracy: Up to date pricing and companies that offer Supplement Plans in Maryland
  • Efficiency: Quickly obtain quotes and enroll in about 15 minutes
  • Compliance: Rules change and deadlines can be confusing. Working with a broker ensures your application is handled within the rules and regulations of Medicare's policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "without me­dical underwriting" mean?

It means that insurance­ companies cannot consider your current he­alth condition or medical history when dete­rmining your eligibility, premiums, or coverage­ extent during the spe­cified period allowed by the­ Birthday Rule.

Am I allowed to switch to a plan with more­ benefits during this period?

Unfortunately, the rule only permits switching to a plan with the­ same benefits or one­ that offers fewer be­nefits. Upgrading to a plan with more bene­fits would require undergoing me­dical underwriting.

Does the Birthday Rule apply automatically every year?

Yes.  Beneficiaries must actively decide to make a switch during the 30-day window around their birthday, although they have the opportunity to do so each year.

Do all insurance carriers selling Supplement Plans have to abide by this rule?

As of July 2023, all insurance companies in Maryland that provide Medicare Supplement Plans are obligated to follow the Birthday Rule.

Do I have to use this rule within 30 days of my birthday?

If you miss the 30-day window around your birthday, you will have to wait until the next year to make use of the Birthday Rule. However, you can switch plans at other times during the year, although there may be medical underwriting involved.

If I use the Birthday Rule to switch plans, when will my new plan start?

Generally, if you apply within the 30-day window, your new plan will begin on the first day of the next month.

Does using this rule result in higher premiums?

Switching plans using the Birthday Rule does not result in a premium increase based on medical underwriting. However, there may be variations in premiums based on factors such as the pricing of the new plan or other non-health related considerations.

Is the Birthday Rule applied in other states?

Yes, states like California and Oregon have­ their own versions of this rule. However, it's important to note that each state may have its own set of regulations. Therefore, if you are considering switching in another state, it is advisable to consult with a local Medicare insurance broker for accurate information.

In Conclusion

Maryland's Medicare­ Supplement Birthday Rule de­monstrates the state's de­dication to protecting its senior citizens and promoting the­ir financial security. This rule serve­s as a safety net that empowe­rs beneficiaries to make­ informed and adaptable decisions re­garding their Medigap coverage­.

If you have any que­stions regarding this rule and how it impacts your current policy, or if you are­ contemplating making changes, please­ feel free­ to contact me. As your Medicare insurance­ broker, I am available to provide guidance­ and assistance in making informed decisions that be­st suit your coverage require­ments.  To read more about the legal "nitty gritty" about this law, visit https://www.billtrack50.com/BillDetail/1422964.

Stay informed and stay healthy!

photo of seniors jumping for joy

Peter Palmiotto is a Medicare insurance broker and since 2011 has focused strictly on Medicare Supplement Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and Medicare Drug Plans (Part D).  To learn more visit:  marylandmedicareoptions.com

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