Moving is a stressful time because there’s no easy way to do it. Being uncertain whether your Medicare coverage moves with you to another state causes unnecessary stress.
You can hire movers for the heavy lifting, but there’s still a lot to do. Changing your address with state and federal bodies (such as the Social Security Administration), moving your internet or phone service, and dealing with utilities at two locations are just a few of the many tasks you will need to take care of.
At the top of your list should be your health care. It’s important to make sure all members of your house, from pets to people, are taken care of. As a Medicare beneficiary, you’ll need to find out which parts of your Medicare plan you can keep, what needs to change, and where you can be seen. Too bad the movers can’t help with that.
If you plan far enough in advance, however, you can make things much easier. Just as you would start packing non-essentials a month before you move, you can start the process of moving your Medicare.
What to do with Medicare when moving
No matter where you move in the United States, Original Medicare (Parts A & B) will follow you, but other parts may need to change. Original Medicare is not dependent on your location or service area. So you won’t need to make any changes to your Parts A & B no matter where you move within the United States.
Where you may run into issues is with your Part D plan (prescriptions), Medigap plan (supplemental), or Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. If you move out of your current plan’s network area, you’ll need to find new coverage for both your Medicare Advantage plan and your Part D prescription coverage.
Although the annual enrollment period (AEP) and open enrollment periods (OEP) are standardized, special enrollment periods are in place for overall life changes. And a move out of your current county – or any move – would certainly qualify!
Medicare Advantage Plans and prescription drug plans are often location specific. So, if you move out of your plan’s location, you’ll need to enroll in new plans to continue that coverage. But you don’t have to wait for the AEP or OEP windows. You can make changes to coverage the month before your move, the month of your move, and the two months after your move.
If you’re moving within your current county, no action is required on your part.
It’s also a good idea to let Medicare know you’re moving because it will ensure you receive the information you need as well as any payments you need to be aware of.
If you are on a Medicare Supplement Plan, you may be able to stay on your current plan but it’s always a good idea to check out the options available in your new location. Most states carry the same standardized Medicare Supplemental plans. But some states like Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin offer different plans, so do your research.
Medicare Select plans are similar to supplemental plans, but they require the use of in-network providers. Individual insurance carriers choose to provide these plans and where they want to provide them. They may also be cheaper, but that’s not always the case. If you’re planning a move, you’ll want to make sure you contact your insurance agent.
One more thing to keep in mind: You will probably need to find a new health care provider or facility that accepts Medicare when you’re moving to a new area.
Local, Independent Agents
Guided Medicare is an independent Medicare insurance agency with access to multiple carriers and plans. If you’re planning a move and have questions about your coverage, we have the answers. We’ll look at your current plan and find the coverage you’ll need at your new home.
Because we’re not tethered to one carrier, we have the freedom to find the plans that work best for you and your finances. It’s stressful enough planning a move and all that entails, especially if you’re on your own. We’re with you every step of the way when it comes to your Medicare coverage.
We’ll keep you up to date on important enrollment periods, help you find new health care professionals if your doctor is no longer available, and alert you to any changes that may affect your coverage. This is your health, so we want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision.