What You Should Know About the Medicare Birthday Rule

California has a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) law known as the "Birthday Rule".  This rule gives Californians the option of changing their Medicare supplement with no medical underwriting for up to 30 days following their birthday

  • It is important to know that you have 30 days following your birthday.  You can also apply in the 30 days leading up to your birthday. So you actually get a total 61 days to exercise the "Birthday Rule" in California.  The new policy can only take effect on your birthday or in the 30 days after your birthday.
  • You can change to another plan, as long as it is of equal of lesser coverage level.  There are occasionally exceptions to this rule if a specific carrier allows enrollment in any plan level if you're switching from another insurance carrier.
  • You must already have a Medicare Supplement plan in place, in order to take advantage of this rule.

You can always change Medicare Supplement (aka Medigap) plans at any time of the year. There is no restriction on when you can change, however if you attempt to make a change without using the "birthday rule", you will have to qualify medically. Which means you can be denied if you are in poor health!  Under the "birthday rule",  you are always guaranteed acceptance regardless of your health status. Therefore, it is really helpful to review your Medicare Supplement plan every year during your Birthday month.

If you would like more information about the "birthday rule" or would like us to help you find a lower priced Medicare Supplement plan, please contact us by phone or email.  You may be able to save money and/or gain better coverage for what you're currently paying.