Will a Medicare Advantage plan cost me more if I have a pre-existing condition or if I smoke? The short answer is no. Medicare Advantage plans are not allowed to medically underwrite, which means they cannot charge you more or decline your coverage for any pre-existing condition. They also cannot charge you more if you are a smoker. In fact, they are not allowed to ask you any health questions when you are applying for a Medicare Advantage plan. However, they may ask questions after you have enrolled and encourage you to enroll in a smoking cessation program or other medical management programs they have designed to help those with chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart failure, and others. It is important to know that this is not the same for Medicare Supplement plans. While there are certain times, like when you are first eligible for Medicare, that Medicare Supplement insurance companies are not allowed to charge you more if you have pre-existing conditions (this is called guarantee issue). In most cases, after that, you can be charged more or declined for coverage due to pre-existing health conditions. It is important to work with an independent insurance agent knowledgeable about the rules to ensure you do not end up without coverage or with coverage with higher premiums due to your health conditions. Call New Chapter Insurance to discuss the options available to you. We make Medicare Easy!
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