Do you use tobacco products? Though it’s only one check box in a line of health questions, your answer can greatly affect your Medicare Supplement premiums. Typically, carriers are looking at tobacco use in the 12 months prior to application for coverage. Please note that tobacco use will never affect the amounts you pay for Original Medicare.
If you are switching from one Medicare Supplement plan to the next and are not covered under a Guaranteed Issue Right, you will always have to answer this question as a part of basic health underwriting.
If you are in your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period (when you first start Medicare) or are eligible for a Guaranteed Issue Right, whether you have to answer the tobacco question is based on where you live.
There are individual insurance carrier exceptions to Fact #2. Be sure to ask one of our Medicare advisors about this if it applies to your situation. It can save you a substantial amount of your premiums.
Medicare Part B covers up to eight face-to-face visits in a 12-month period for tobacco use cessation. These must be visits to a qualified doctor or another Medicare-recognized practitioner. You will pay nothing for these sessions as long as the practitioner accepts Medicare assignment. For more information on eligibility for this program, consult your doctor or call the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Published: January 1, 2019