Can You Get Medicare Supplemental Plans Under 65?

By: Thomas Wright
Published: Tuesday, February 26 2019
Last Updated: 3 months ago

Most people are familiar with Medicare as the federal healthcare program designed to provide comprehensive coverage to American seniors once they turn 65 years old. However, did you know that there are exceptions to that rule that may allow you to enroll in both Medicare and supplemental coverage before your 65th birthday?

It’s true! You may be surprised to learn just how many Americans on disability are eligible for Advantage and Medigap plans under 65. Although, there are some additional qualification factors that you’ll need to take into account, which includes your disability and even the state in which you live. If you’re wondering whether or not you qualifying for Medicare Supplement plans before you turn 65, here’s everything you need to know.

Qualifying For Medigap Before 65

Before you read any further, it’s important to know whether or not you qualify for Original Medicare, because that will be a determining factor on whether or not you are eligible to sign up for supplemental coverage. For the most part, you’ll be eligible for Medicare before 65 if you have been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), Lou Gehrig's Disease, have been receiving social security disability for 24 months, or are a kidney dialysis patient. Check to see your eligibility status here.

Once you find out if you’re eligible for Medicare, you can move onto the next phase, learning whether or not you qualify for Medicare Supplement coverage.

State Requirements

The rules surrounding your eligibility for Medicare are fairly straightforward, as we outlined above. However, once you start considering whether or not you’re eligible for Medicare Supplement coverage before you turn 65, things get a little dicey.

Although Medicare is a federal healthcare program, states still have the some control over eligibility factors. This rings especially true for individuals under the age of 65 looking to enroll in Medigap plans. So, before you start your search, make sure to read the list below to see if your state makes the cut.

  • California (excluding individuals under 65 with ESRD)
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware (only available for individuals with ESRD)
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts (only available for individuals with ESRD)
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont (excluding individuals under 65 with ESRD)
  • Wisconsin

In contrast to the above states, any other states not listed are not required by law to make sure their residents are offered Medigap insurance policies if they have Medicare while under 65 years of age.

Differences When You Enroll Before 65

The only differences that happen when you enroll in Medigap while still under the age of 65 is that the state laws might be different, and how your coverage works will depend on the type of employment you have. If you are still employed and have some form of health insurance benefits from your employer, then your Medicare and Medigap policies will be structured to work around this.

To a similar effect, if you have insurance as a result of your spouse, then it will be a similar process. However, the service that you receive as a Medicare-eligible patient will be the same as if you were over 65.

The Medical Underwriting Process

Medical underwriting is a process that involves companies using information about your medical history to assess whether or not they should accept you, as well as how much to charge. This is typically applied to applications that occur outside of the normal Open Enrollment period, affecting if it's possible to have Medicare with pre-existing conditions. It can also be a reality for those under 65 applying for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, as those types of plans will often cost more than they do for people over the age of 65.

Depending on the insurance company, Medicare with pre-existing conditions can become complicated and sometimes not possible. However, there are enough companies to look for regarding Medicare with pre-existing conditions that you'll be sure to find a company that will help.

Your Guaranteed-Issue Rights

Guaranteed-issue rights allow you to enroll with a new insurance company like it is Open Enrollment, but only truly apply if you have a specific type of Medicare that already qualifies you, such as Medicare SELECT. If you already have a Medicare Supplement Plan under 65 and the associated company goes bankrupt, you also have guaranteed-issue rights.

Do You Need to Wait for Open Enrollment?

If you want Medigap before 65 and already have Medicare disability coverage, there's no difference between waiting for Open Enrollment and applying outside of that period. This is because insurance companies can still use medical underwriting, unless you're in a state that gives you a specific right to an insurance plan. So, if you’re thinking about enrolling in a Medigap plan under 65, start your search for quotes with FirstQuote Medicare today!