Starting January 1, 2013, Medicare beneficiaries residing in Oregon have a yearly opportunity to compare Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan (Medigap) prices and switch companies.

Here are some facts about how this works:

  • The opportunity to compare prices and apply for a new Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan starts on your birthday and ends 30 days later.
  • You cannot go from a standard Plan F to an Innovative Plan F because the Innovative Plan F has more benefits, including access to nurse advice telephone service and an annual physical examination. On the other hand, you may switch from a Plan C to a Plan C SELECT, which does not have added benefits.
  • The change is guaranteed, regardless of your health.
  • New coverage typically begins on the first of the month following the application date. However, it cannot start before your birthday.
  • “Mid-month” effective dates are discouraged, as applicants typically must give their prior carrier notice.
  • Do not cancel the current Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan policy until the new policy is issued. You may have to pay two premiums for one month to ensure a smooth transfer from the old to the new policy.
  • Switching mid-year from one Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F High Deductible policy to another will restart the high deductible under the new carrier’s policy contract. Consider the annual deductible before switching policies.
  • Switching from a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F to a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan G will not require you to pay the Medicare Part B deductible if the Plan F policy already paid it to Medicare for the plan year.
  • This rule does not apply to Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan policies issued before Jan. 1, 1990.

For more information about the Oregon Medicare Birthday Rule, please contact BK Insurance Services. We are here to answer your questions, and assist you with switching your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan under this rule.

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