Washington Medicare Plans
In Washington state, nature takes on a new meaning, especially with the sleeping volcano of Mount Rainier. You also have the lush landscapes of the Hoh Rain Forest to the Olympic National Park along with the island paradise of Puget Sound. If you’re looking for culture, Seattle is a significant hub for a weekend getaway.
It is no wonder that so many people have chosen to make Washington their home for retirement. Unlike most other states, there are some beneficial enrollment rules that are very specific to Washington that you need to be aware of if you are a Medicare beneficiary.
What are Medicare Options in Washington?
Washington, like many states, offers the standard Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans. If you are a resident, you can choose from the following plans: A, B, C, D, F, G, H, K, L, M, N, high-deductible Plan F, and high-deductible Plan G. You’re able to enroll during the year, but if you want your coverage to be guaranteed, you want to enroll during your open enrollment period in Washington.
What are the Most Popular Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington?
- Medicare Supplement Plan F
- Medicare Supplement Plan G
- Medicare Supplement Plan N
When is the Open Enrollment Period in Washington?
As a Medicare beneficiary, you can first enroll in any Washington Medicare Supplement within your first six months of your Part B effective date. This is considered your open enrollment period. During this time, insurance carriers are required to approve your MediGap application, and are prohibited from declining the coverage you need because you have a pre-existing condition. You can still apply outside of this window, but you will be required to go through medical underwriting, and could be denied coverage based on your health history.
If you are currently enrolled in a Medigap plan in Washington, there are Right to Change laws that will allow you to change your Medicare Supplement plan with no underwriting.
Right to Change for Washington Medicare Supplement Plans
Washington is one of few states that offers what is considered year-round guaranteed issue for MediGap Plans. In the state of Washington, you have the right to change your Medicare Supplement plan at any time throughout the year with no medical underwriting. This means that as an applicant you are guaranteed to be approved for a MediGap policy, regardless of your health history or pre-existing conditions. This is extremely beneficial in ensuring your access to coverage, as well as ability to maintain the best available premium rate on your Medicare Supplement plan.
There are rules that go along with the Right to Change in Washington. First, you must already be enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan. You do not qualify for the Right to Change rule if you are coming from a Medicare Advantage plan, or just Original Medicare with no supplement. Second, there are rules to which plans you can change to based on your current plan. If you are enrolled in Medigap Plan A you can only change to another MediGap Plan A without medical underwriting. If, however, you are enrolled in Medicare Supplement plans B-N, you can change to any other MediGap plan B-N without going through medical underwriting.
Can I Change Medicare Supplement Plans in Washington?
You can apply to change your Medicare Supplement during any month of the year in Washington without undergoing any medical underwriting if you are currently a Medicare Supplement policy holder. Due to Washington’s Right to Change guaranteed issue law, Medicare beneficiaries are guaranteed acceptance into Medicare Supplement plans without question if coming from another Medigap plan.
If you do not have a Medicare Supplement plan, you will have to apply for a Medigap plan, and be subjected to medical underwriting, which will assess your health. During medical underwriting, insurance carriers have the ability to deny a Medicare Supplement plan application based on pre-existing conditions, so it is important to enroll in a MediGap plan during your open-enrollment period to guarantee your acceptance.
Medigap Plan F in Washington
Medicare Supplement Plan F has been a very popular plan with Medicare beneficiaries over time. The reason for the popularity of Plan F, is that it covers the gaps left by Medicare Part A and B with no out-of-pocket. However, if you became Medicare eligible after January 1st 2020, you are not eligible to enroll in MediGap Plan F. Luckily, there are other great Medicare Supplement plan options available.
Medigap Plan G in Washington
Medicare Supplement Plan G is a very comprehensive Medicare Supplement plan with very little out-of-pocket expense. Once you have met your Part B annual deductible, MediGap Plan G becomes a full coverage plan, covering all of the gaps left by Original Medicare, with no additional out-of-pocket expenses. Plan G is typically a very cost-efficient plan with an affordable monthly premium to ensure gold-standard coverage.
Medigap Plan N in Washington
Medicare Supplement Plan N is also a great, comprehensive MediGap plan available in Washington. This plan has slightly more out-of-pocket cost than MediGap Plan G, but also comes with a lower monthly premium. As with Plan G, you are still responsible for the Medicare part B annual deductible. Once you have met this deductible, your Original Medicare coverage kicks in, but you still have some cost-share. With MediGap Plan N, you will pay copayments up to $20 for office visits, and up to $50 for ER visits that do not result in an inpatient admission. Plan N also has the possibility of an excess charges if you use a doctor or healthcare provider that does not accept Medicare Assignment. Excess charges can be up to 15% of the Medicare-approved payment. If the monthly premium difference between Plan G and Plan N is large enough, Plan N is often times a very attractive option for your Medicare Supplement plan.
What is the Cost of a Medicare Supplement Plan in Washington?
Monthly premiums for Medicare Supplement plans are based on three main factors- age, gender, and location. There are other things that may impact your premium such as tobacco use. The premium amounts will vary based on these factors, so it is important to receive a quote based on your specific demographic information.
Medicare Plans in Washington for Those Under 65
When it comes to Medicare in Washington, there is no guaranteed open enrollment for MediGap plans required by the state for those under 65. Further, only two insurance carriers offer Medicare Supplement plans to those under 65, and the carriers have the ability to decide which plans to offer. You’ll be required to go through and pass any medical underwriting that is necessary for acceptance. If you’re under 65 and disabled but still qualify for Medicare, you may not pass this underwriting. If you fit within this category, there are Medicare Advantage Policies that you can look into.
Once you reach 65, more Medicare supplement plans will open up for enrollment in Alabama without any health questions. This period guarantees acceptance.
Medicare Advantage in Washington
Washington also offers options for Medicare Advantage plans. In these plans you must live in your plan’s service area and enroll during an appropriate election period. Medicare Advantage plans do not required medical underwriting if enrolling during an election period, but are also significantly different plans than Medicare Supplement plans.
Medicare and Medicaid in Washington
It is possible to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid in the state of Washington. These two programs, however, are separate and have different qualifications you must meet in order to receive benefits. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet state income requirements. To qualify for Medicare, you must be either over the age of 65, or under 65 but receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for a minimum of 24 months before applying for Medicare.