Can a person get secondary medical insurance after being on Medicare for 10 plus years?

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A friend of mine has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She is 76 and has been on Medicare for years but didn't get secondary insurance. With the pending costs of chemo, is there a possibility that she can get the secondary insurance and would there be penalties?

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Thank you, I'll pass the info along.
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Reply to happyjack
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You can call a State health Insurance Assistance Program counselor. (SHIP)
 You might want to familiarize yourself with the different levels of MediGap coverage. There are 10 different plans. Don’t associate lowest premium with least expensive. There are variables to be considered. Deductibles etc.
I believe there will be a waiting period as bicycler mentioned.
Here is the link to SHIP.
They have an 800 # listed.

www.seniorsresourceguide.com/directories/National/SHIP/
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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I was wondering if there is a severe penalty for not having signed up for Medigap when she first went on Medicare. Appreciate the info from prior postings.
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Reply to happyjack
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Is the problem a lack of a prescription Part D program or the part B co-pays that a Medigap plan would cover? If you apply for Medigap plans during fall open enrollment, the questions for underwriting are usually waived. If she is trying to apply or change outside the enrollment period, insurance company may be able to say that coverage would be available after a 6 month waiting period. Otherwise everyone would wait to enroll in insurance plans only once they had a diagnosed condition.
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Reply to Guestshopadmin
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In the 6-month window after turning 65, Medicare Supplement Insurance can be purchased regardless of any pre-existing conditions. After that window, each supplemental insurers' underwriter determines whether a pre-existing condition warrants exclusion of potential enrollee. So, your friend could check with each company offering supplemental insurance in her area to see if she is still eligible. Premium rates increase based on age at first enrollment alone. I don't know if the rates also increase based on pre-existing conditions.
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Reply to bicycler
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