What Happens to Medicare Coverage When You Move

What Happens to Medicare Coverage When You Move

When you change your residence, whether it be in the same city you are living, a different city or out of state, and you are on Medicare, you need to do the following: What Happens to Medicare Coverage When You Move

  • The Social Security Administration handles Medicare enrollment. If you receive Social Security benefits, you can change your address online at ssa.gov, or by phone at 1-800-772-1213.
  • If you have you Original Medicare, changing your address as noted above is all you need to do. However, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D Prescription Drug Plan, or if you have a Medigap policy, there are additional steps you need to take. What Happens to Medicare Coverage When You Move

Medigap Plans:

If you are enrolled in a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap), the first thing you need to do is change your address with your current Medigap plan company.  It is suggested that as soon as you know what your new address is, you should contact them.  You can still keep your same Medigap plan as the plans are standardized in most states.  It is important that you are aware that your new plan rate might be higher (or lower) in your new state.  Also, you might have to answer additional health questions if you do try to change plans or companies.

When moving out of your plan’s service area, in the case of Medicare SELECT plans, which may require you to use in-network providers:

  • You will be eligible to enroll in a standardized Medigap policy from your current policy company which has equal or lesser benefits compared with your current Medicare SELECT policy.
  • You may enroll in any Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K or L that is available in your service area.
  • If you have had your Medicare SELECT policy for longer than six months, you will not have to go through medical underwriting. What Happens to Medicare Coverage When You Move

Medicare Advantage Plans:

There is a “Special Enrollment Period” for those who change their residence address outside of their service area.  You have the choice of either:

  • You will be disenrolled by your Medicare Advantage plan if you move out of the service area. You will then have Original Medicare. but will keep your Medicare Part A and Part B.  It is important you understand that if you do not enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan during your Special Enrollment Period, the next chance you have will not be until the next SEP, from October 15-December 7;
  • if your current plan is offered in your new service area, you can stay with that plan;
  • if new plan options are offered in your new location, you may choose to enroll in one of these;

The Special Enrollment time frame is as follows:

  • If you let your plan know before your move, your window of opportunity to change plans will begin the month prior to your move, and will continue after your move for two full months.
  • If you do not notify your plan until after your move, you will only have the month in which you contact your plan plus the two full months that follow.

Part D Prescription Drug Plans:

Part D prescription drug plan members must notify their current plan about a permanent move. If the member notifies the plan prior to the move, the Special Enrollment Period begins the month before the move and continues for two full months after the move. If the member notifies the plan after the move, the SEP begins the month that notification was given and lasts for two full months.  Once you sign up for the new plan, you can choose an effective date of up to three months following the month the enrollment was submitted. What Happens to Medicare Coverage When You Move

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about the author

Garrett Ball

Garrett is the founder/President of Secure Medicare Solutions, a leading, independent Medicare insurance agency. Since 2007, Garrett has worked with tens of thousands of people turning 65 or already on Medicare to understand, compare and choose Medicare insurance that fits their specific needs and situation.

His latest project is 65Medicare.org, an online hub for people just starting with Medicare, which is focused on distilling difficult Medicare questions into easy-to-understand resources.

Garrett resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife, Celeste, and three spirited children.

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