What's a Medicare supplement special enrollment period?

Who is this for?

If you're shopping for a Medicare supplement plan, this information can help you understand if you qualify for a special enrollment period and what that means.

Medicare supplement plans don't have annual enrollment periods, so when you apply is very important. If you're new to Medicare or you're losing your current coverage, you may qualify for a Medicare supplement special enrollment period. Sometimes, we call this a guaranteed issue period. It's the best time for you to apply because it guarantees you'll get coverage and you may get a better price. Learn more in When should I apply for a Medicare supplement plan?

Why special enrollment periods matter

When you apply for these plans outside of a special enrollment period, we use medical underwriting to process your application. That means certain factors may affect your monthly premium and whether you're approved.

So, how do you know if you qualify? If any of the situations below apply to you, you're eligible for a special enrollment period. 

Are you new to Medicare?

You're eligible for a Medicare supplement special enrollment period if you're age 65 or older and you apply within six months of enrolling in Medicare Part B. 

Did you recently lose your employer group coverage?

You're eligible for special enrollment in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Medicare Supplement Plan APlan CPlan F or Plan HD-F if you apply within 63 days of your employer canceling your employer group health plan ending. This situation does not apply to Medicare Supplement Plan N or G.

Did you recently lose your Medicare Advantage coverage?

You're eligible for a Medicare supplement special enrollment period if:

  • You no longer live in the Medicare Advantage plan's service area.
  • The organization offering your Medicare Advantage coverage lost certification to sell the plan.
  • You canceled your Medicare Advantage plan within 12 months of enrolling in Medicare Part A.

For the following situations, you're only eligible for special enrollment for Medicare Supplement Plan APlan C, Plan F or Plan HD-F, not Plan G or Plan N if:

  • You canceled your Medicare Advantage plan because it violated its contract with you.
  • You canceled your enrollment in a Medicare supplement plan and enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time. Then, you canceled the Medicare Advantage plan within the first 12 months.

Did you recently lose your supplement coverage?

You're only eligible for special enrollment in Medicare Supplement Plan A, Plan C, Plan F or Plan HD-F if:

  • The organization offering your previous supplement coverage went bankrupt.
  • You canceled your previous supplement plan because it violated its contract with you.
  • You canceled your supplement plan for a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time, and within the same year decided you want to switch back to your previous supplement plan.

These situations don't apply to Medicare Supplement Plan N or Plan G.

Important information about your plan

The Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and copays listed are based on the 2019 numbers approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. You can go to any hospital, doctor or other health care provider in the U.S. or its territories that accepts Medicare. You don't have to use our network. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan administers Blue Cross Medicare Supplement plans. Where you live, your age, gender and whether you use tobacco may affect what you pay for your plan. Your health status may also affect what you pay. This is a solicitation of insurance. We may contact you about buying insurance. Blue Cross Medicare Supplement plans aren't connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.

If you're currently enrolled in Plan A or Plan C, you can stay with your plan as long as you pay your premium. You may enroll in Plan C if you’ve lost coverage under a group policy after becoming eligible for Medicare. You're also eligible if you had Plan C, then enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and now would like to return to Plan C. You can do this as long as it’s within the first 12 months of your Medicare Advantage plan. You're automatically eligible for Plan A if you’re 65 or older. If you’re under age 65, you are eligible for Plan A if you’ve lost coverage under a group policy after becoming eligible for Medicare. You can also enroll if you had Plan A, then enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and now would like to return to Plan A. You can do this as long as it’s within the first 12 months of your Medicare Advantage plan. You’ll need to meet these requirements to apply for these plans.