I am writing about a situation that does not seem right to me, and I am wondering what if anything can be done about it. The situation I refer to is that of someone who is on Medicare because of a disability, and who cannot change their Medicare supplement provider without being subject to medical underwriting.
I am presently 58 years old and was disabled five years ago due to an accident which paralyzed me from the shoulders down. I signed on to Medicare when it became available after my accident, and at the same time I signed up for a Medicare supplement provider. The cost of that supplement policy has doubled in the last two years and I wanted to investigate my options during open enrollment for a different supplement policy. I was told however by various providers, Medicare and the Texas Department of Insurance that I would not have a guaranteed issue if I switched providers and would be subject to medical underwriting. Given my condition, I would obviously be turned down so that means I am stuck with my current supplement provider until I turn 65 – no matter how much they raise my premiums! That just doesn't seem right.
If the ACA guarantees individuals that they cannot be turned down because of an existing condition, why doesn't that apply in this case? I have never been un-insured in my life so it is not a matter of a lack of creditable coverage. My only option is to switch to a Medicare advantage plan, but if I do not like it and want to switch back to regular Medicare, I would not have a guaranteed issue for any supplement plan.
Does anyone else have this issue? I am having a hard time getting any traction with this topic but I have to believe it affects many people living with disabilities. I'm wondering what my options are to keep from being held hostage by my supplement insurer?