Waiting Periods, Limitations, and Exclusions

Many Medicare supplement insurance policies have waiting periods before coverage begins. If your policy excludes coverage for preexisting conditions for a limited time, it must provide this information on the first page of the policy. The waiting period for preexisting conditions may not be longer than 6 months, and only conditions treated during the 6 months before the effective date of the policy may be excluded.

Insurance companies are required to waive any waiting periods for preexisting conditions if you buy a Medicare supplement policy during the open enrollment period and have been continuously covered with creditable coverage for at least 6 months prior to applying for the Medicare supplement policy. Insurance companies are also required to waive any waiting periods for preexisting conditions when one Medicare supplement policy is replaced with another.

Remember: For the first 6 months after you first enroll in Part B of Medicare, insurance companies offering Medigap policies must accept you regardless of your health. Some companies have continuous open enrollments. However, the policies may include waiting periods before coverage begins.