What Is the Medicare Supplement Free Look Period?

The Medicare Supplement free look period allows beneficiaries to try a new Medigap plan without forfeiting their existing one.

This 30-day window applies to all Medigap policies purchased during the policyholder’s six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

How Does the Medigap Free Look Period Work?

You have a 30-day trial period where you can have two Medigap policies to determine the one that suits you best. This way, you can try out a new plan without losing your current coverage or waiting for a new policy to become effective.

If you find the new policy more favorable, you can make the switch permanent. Conversely, you can opt to return to your original plan without penalty.

Key points regarding the free look period:

  • The free look period begins when your new Medigap coverage takes effect, not when you enroll.
  • The standard free-look period established by federal regulations is 30 days, though it may vary slightly by state.
  • You must pay the monthly premiums for both Medigap policies during the free look period.

If you decide to switch to a new Medigap plan during your existing policy’s free look period, it’s important not to cancel your old policy immediately. You should only cancel it once you’ve been accepted into the new policy and have decided to keep it or after the 30-day period ends.

When enrolling in a new Medicare Supplement plan, you’ll need to commit to canceling the first policy since you can only have one Medigap plan outside the free look window.

When Is My Medigap Free Look Period?

To determine the exact dates of your Medigap free look period, you must confirm when your new Medigap policy takes effect. This is not the date you enrolled but the date the insurance company starts your coverage.

Once your coverage has begun, the 30-day free look period is initiated.

If you have doubts about your coverage start date, contact your Medigap provider to ensure you make decisions based on the correct timeline.

Can I Change Medigap Plans Outside of the Free Look Period?

Yes, you do have the option to change your Medigap plan at any time.

However, it’s important to be aware that outside of the free look period, Open Enrollment, or special circumstances that grant you guaranteed issue rights, changing plans can require you to undergo medical underwriting.

If you attempt to switch plans at a time not protected by the abovementioned circumstances, you could face higher premiums or denial of coverage based on your health.

State tips:

  • CT, NY, and WA allow Medigap policyholders to enroll in a new Medicare Supplement plan without medical underwriting year-round.
  • ME and MO have anniversary guaranteed-issue rules for Medigap policy changes.
  • CA, ID, IL, NV, and OR have birthday rules for Medigap plan changes.

Bottom Line

The primary benefit of the Medicare Supplement free look period is that it allows beneficiaries to try out a new Medigap policy without risk. This will enable you to compare coverage, assess new policy benefits, and determine if the costs align with your healthcare needs and budget.

Remember that the free look period is only active for 30 days after purchasing your Medigap policy. Be sure to mark the start date of your new policy and use those 30 days wisely.

We’re experts in helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate their options. If you have any questions regarding the free look period or anything related to Medicare, call us; we’re happy to help.

Sources: Medicare.gov | CMS.gov | AARP


How long is the Medigap free look period?

The free look period on a Medicare Supplement policy typically lasts 30 days but can vary by state.

Can I switch between Medigap policies during the free look period?

You can simultaneously hold two Medicare Supplement insurance plans during the Medigap free look period. This allows you to switch between policies without a coverage gap.

What happens if I cancel my policy during the free look period?

You will receive a full refund if you cancel your policy during the free look period. The refund process may take up to 30 days after cancellation, and some insurance providers may charge a processing fee.

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.