Can I Switch From Medicare Advantage to Medigap?

Yes, you can switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap.

If you currently have a Medicare Advantage plan, you have the flexibility to switch to a Medicare Supplement plan during specific enrollment periods. This allows you to explore additional coverage options and potentially enhance your healthcare benefits.

When Can I Switch?

You have the opportunity to switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap during specific periods:

  • The first period is called the Annual Election Period (AEP), which occurs from October 15th to December 7th annually.
  • The second is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which occurs annually from January 1st to March 31st.

*If you switch during the AEP or the OEP, insurance providers may require medical underwriting – and have the right to charge higher premiums or deny you a Medigap plan altogether.

  • The third opportunity to switch would be during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). You may qualify for a SEP if you move to an uncovered area by your current health plan, lose employer-provided health insurance, or if Medicare ends its contract with your plan.

*Medical underwriting is not required if you switch during a SEP.

What’s the Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Medigap?

Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans provide different levels of coverage, costs, and flexibility to beneficiaries.

Here are a few key distinctions:

  • Coverage: Medicare Advantage plans often provide additional benefits that traditional Medicare does not cover, such as dental, hearing, vision, and sometimes prescription drugs. Medigap coverage, conversely, supplements the coverage you get from Original Medicare, paying for costs that Medicare does not cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
  • Cost: With Medicare Advantage plans, you may have lower or no monthly premiums and a maximum out-of-pocket limit. Medigap plans often have higher monthly premiums but can lower out-of-pocket costs yearly.
  • Choice of doctors and hospitals: In Medicare Advantage plans, you’re usually limited to the doctors and hospitals within the plan’s network. Medigap plans, however, do not have network restrictions; you can see any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare.
  • Travel: While many Medigap plans offer health insurance coverage during travel outside the United States, Medicare Advantage plans typically do not.
  • Prescription drug coverage: Some Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, while Medigap plans do not.

How Do I Know What Plan Is Best for Me?

Selecting the appropriate Medicare plan is contingent upon your individual requirements. Consider factors such as desired coverage level, budgetary considerations, provider preferences, prescription drug needs, and travel care requirements.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing a Medicare plan. It’s highly recommended to compare options and seek the advice of a licensed insurance agent to guide you in your decision-making process.

Bottom Line

Switching from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medigap plan can give beneficiaries more flexibility and coverage options to suit their needs better.

When considering switching to a Medigap plan, it’s helpful to research different plans and compare costs, coverage, and other factors to determine the best option for you. This way, you can confidently find and enroll in the right plan.

Sources: | Medical News Today | AARP


Can I switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap penalty-free?

Transitioning from Medicare Advantage to Medigap can be done without penalties, given that you are within a Special Enrollment Period.

What happens when I unenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan?

When you unenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan, your coverage reverts back to Original Medicare. This change does not automatically enroll you in a Medigap plan.

Can I have Medicare Advantage and Medigap at the same time?

No, you cannot simultaneously have a Medicare Advantage and Medigap plan.

Mark Prip

For more than two decades, Mark Prip at My Medigap Plans has been an authority figure in the insurance industry and continues to uphold a mission to provide customers with comprehensive information about Medicare, life, and dental coverage. In addition, his expertise is unmatched - having helped thousands of Medicare beneficiaries choose suitable healthcare plans for themselves - making him stand out above competitors.