New Rules and Options for Medicare

Supplement Policy Holders

Idaho’s laws and rules for Medicare Supplement policies have changed. The Idaho Legislature approved legislation to provide additional options and consumer protections for Idaho seniors. The Idaho Department of Insurance published a temporary rule on November 3, 2021, related to Medicare Supplement policies in accordance with Senate Bill 1143, signed by Governor Little on April 22, 2021. The temporary rule is the result of negotiated rule making.

The Department of Insurance is providing information, FAQs, and details on an upcoming webinar for the public and industry about the changes on its website:

The rule, IDAPA 18.04.10, includes two major changes effective after February 28, 2022.

  1. Medicare Supplement policyholders may change their insurance company and/or plan annually regardless of health conditions during a 63-day enrollment period beginning on the policyholder’s birthday.
  2. Premium rates for new Medicare Supplement policies (including when changing insurance companies) will no longer be based on the age of the applicant. This is referred to as “community rating.”

The rule also prohibits charging application fees or higher premium rates based on the method of payment, and other unfair trade practices. 

It is important to know that current Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed renewable, and current policies will continue unless a change is requested by the policyholder. These rule changes provide flexibility to current Medicare Supplement policyholders who wish to change their policy, but no change is required. After February 28.2022, existing Medicare Supplement policyholders may choose to shop for comparable community-rated coverage starting the day of their birthday. 

“These changes will give Idaho consumers more options for plans that best fit their changing medical needs,” said Director Dean Cameron. “I strongly encourage consumers to seek guidance from our *SHIBA representatives.” 

Idahoans with questions may call toll free (800)247.4422 to speak with a state SHIBA representative, orlocally at 208.847.0949.

*SHIBA is the acronym for State Health Insurance Benefits Advisors.

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