What to do With Medicare When Moving out of State
Find An Affordable Medicare Supplement Plan
Most seniors who are embarking on a challenging move (they’re all challenging), are likely to have questions about whether their Medicare Plans will follow them to another state.
Our intention in this guide is to answer your questions clearly but if we aren’t clear enough or you have questions that haven’t been addressed in this guide; call us right now at 844-528-8688.
Let’s face it, many of us move around quite a bit. Especially after we retire and begin searching for our dream home is a state with a mild climate, plenty of beaches, and considered “senior friendly.”Typically, before we move, there is a planning process that needs to be turned into a checklist and at the top of that list are Doctors, Hospitals, and Medicare.
Can I use my Medicare in a Different State?
Now that you’ve found your dream home or waterfront condo, you want to instantly begin packing your stuff so the movers can load and go! But wait! Hold on just a moment. Did you check to make certain you can take your healthcare benefits with you? If not. Take a break, order some takeout, and do it now.
Although Original Medicare is a federal healthcare program and provides the same benefits no matter where you live in the U.S. if you’re like most Medicare beneficiaries, you’ve probably enrolled into a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as Medicare Part C) or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. If this is the case for you, keep reading.
Moving to a Different State When You Have a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap)
Since all Medicare Supplement Plans are accepted by all providers who accept Original Medicare, you’ll likely only need to provide your change of address to the insurance company.
Medicare or CMS is pretty clear about this situation, they say:
- You can keep your current Medigap policy no matter where you live as long as you still have Original Medicare. If you want to switch to a different Medigap policy, you'll have to check with your current or new insurance company to see if they'll offer you a different policy.
- If you decide to switch, you may have to pay more for your new Medigap policy. You may also have to answer some medical questions if you're buying a Medigap policy outside of your Medigap open enrollment period.
Moving when You Have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C)
When you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), your insurance is being provided by a private insurance company that provides specific coverage in specific areas of the country. This means that if you’re moving to a different state, your Medicare Advantage Plan will likely not follow you.
So then, when you’re moving out of state and you’re covered by a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have two options and 60 days to:
- Locate a new Medicare Advantage Plan in your new state and county.
- You can go back to Original Medicare and then purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan if you prefer.
If you elect to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in the state you are moving to. you will use your special election period (SEP). The special election period allows you to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan in your new state without having to comply with the usual Open Enrollment Period.
It’s important to note that your new Medicare Advantage Plan might be different from your previous plan when it comes to coverage and premiums, so make certain you shop your plan to find a new plan that will meet your coverage needs and especially your budget.
Moving with a Medicare Part D Plan (Prescription Drug Plan)
If you were enrolled in Medicare Part D, your plan was based on the state you lived in so you’ll need to enroll in a new Part D plan for the state you’re moving to.
When you change your Part D plan from one state to another, it’s likely that your benefits and premium will be affected so be prepared for a little bit of a transition.You will be allowed to use a Special Election Period to make the change in your Part D plan but make sure you get this done so you don’t have a lapse in coverage. This could be an expensive mistake if you are taking regular medications.
Notify Your Providers Sooner rather than Later
As we mentioned earlier in this moving guide, it’s best to notify your healthcare providers before you move so you will have sufficient time to make any needed changes and speak to a Medicare Specialist.
Advance notification will typically increase special election period which means you’ll have four months instead of only three to get everything in order.
Get Help from a Medicare Professional if You’re Moving to Another State
As a senior who has moved several times since we became empty nesters, I can testify that moving from state to state can be downright stressful. It seems like no matter how great your planning skills might be, something always go wrong or gets neglected.
Even though changing Medicare Advantage Plans, or Part D drug plans, or Medicare Supplement plans is a pretty simple process, it’s very important that you get it done so that you won’t have any healthcare issues after you move and unpack your stuff.
More importantly, be mindful that a Medicare Specialist is only a phone call away and your move will not be the first we’ve been involved with. We encourage you to call the Medicare Solutions Team at 888-528-8688.