Many beneficiaries of Medigap Plans are not familiar with the California Birthday Rule that allows them to change plans and carriers on their birthday month every year with a guaranteed issue, meaning no medical questions. If a person already has Medigap insurance, they have 30 days of “open enrollment” following their birthday each year when they may buy a new Medigap policy without a medical screening or a new waiting period. The new policy must have the same or lesser benefits as the old policy. To avoid confusion, the new law specifies which of the new plans are equal to the old plans. For more information about the California Medigap Birthday Rule, or if you would like to have an on-line comparison of Medigap plans, or just have questions about Medicare insurance plans go to We do want to stress that the Medigap “open enrollment” following your birthday month is not the “Annual Open Enrollment” period for Advantage Plans. The “Annual Open Enrollment” period for Advantage Plans is October 15th to December 7th each year. It is a good idea to talk with a broker to learn what your options are, whether you are new to Medicare or have a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medigap Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan. There is no cost for using a broker. A broker should be appointed, certified and licensed for major Medicare insurance companies. If you found this article helpful or interesting please share it with your circle of friends.