California's Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule
The Birthday Rule applies only to people with a Medicare Supplement (medigap) insurance plan. What the rule states is that you can change plans, to lower your premiums, as long as the plan starts within 30 days of your birthday. This is a Guaranteed Issue period, you cannot be denied for any reason and you don't have to answer any health questions.
The Birthday Rule also states you must change to a plan equal to your current coverage, or a lower coverage plan. That means if you have a Plan G right now, you can only switch to a Plan G or lower if you don't want to have to go through Medical underwriting.
Let's look at an example. Let's say you are a 68-year-old on a plan F with company XYZ. And your monthly premium is $180. Company ABC offers the same exact plan F for only $140 per month. As long as the start date with the new Company ABC is within 30 days of your birthday, you can switch. If your birthday falls on the 1st of the month, you can have your policy start on your birthday, make sure to apply prior to the 15th of the prior month to give the company enough time to process your application.
There may be higher costs associated with being a Californian, but this is one of those fantastic little Medicare secrets that many people don't know about. This one "trick" alone can save you $1000's over the lifetime of your Medicare Supplement Policy.
You can learn more about California's Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule here, with the original announcement from the State of California's Department of Insurance.
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