What is medical underwriting?

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When applying for Medicare or a Medicare Supplement plan, you may have heard of the term medical underwriting. But, what exactly does medical underwriting mean? 

In layman’s terms, medical underwriting is the process of answering the health questions that are asked when applying for a Medicare Supplement plan. By answering the questions, insurance carriers can use your answers to determine if they should accept your application or not. 

Your eligibility for coverage, the price of coverage, and the limits you may have will be based on your health status and medical history.

Do I have to go through medical underwriting?

Not necessarily. It ultimately depends on the company and when you enroll for a Medicare Supplement plan. You can avoid medical underwriting by enrolling for a supplement plan during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. The Medigap Open Enrollment Period will give you a six-month window to enroll in a supplement plan once you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. The enrollment period is a one-time election period and will begin when your Part B becomes effective.

If you miss the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, the insurer may require you to go through medical underwriting so they can review your medical history.

What is the medical underwriting process?

The underwriting process first begins when you fill out the application. Depending on the insurance carrier, the questions you answer could be different. However, some basic questions you could be expected to answer might be:

  • Do you have any specific health conditions?
  • Do you have any upcoming surgeries or treatments?
  • Are you currently taking any medications?

When completing your application, do not skip any questions unless you are applying during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period or if you have Guaranteed-Issue Rights. If you are in any of those two categories, you may not have to answer the medical questions, but the rules vary by state, so make sure to confirm those details!

Once you’ve filled out the questions and the carrier has reviewed your application, you may receive a follow-up call to discuss your application. Do not ignore this call! The carrier will not move forward with your application and their decision until you speak with them. If you miss their call, call them back as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the longer you delay their decision. 

After your phone interview, you should get a notification about their decision and if you’ve been accepted.

Looking for a Medicare Supplement plan?

If there is a Medicare Supplement plan that seems like a good fit for you, give one of our licensed Medicare agents a call at 662-844-3300 and we can help you find a plan to fit your budget and healthcare needs!

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance