In our mobile society, it’s not unusual for people to relocate to a new state several times throughout their lives. Reasons for doing so include new job opportunities, cutting back on living costs, lifestyle choices and living near family, whether it’s children or aging parents.
Moving involves packing, discarding, donating and sorting through belongings and mementos to decide what to take to a new home.
Tips for Moving to Another State with Medicare
Put Medicare On Your To-Do List When You Move
The process of moving from home to home can be stressful. Breaking down what needs to be done into a to-do list, with goals and actions for each day, can make it much less overwhelming.
The nuts and bolts of a move involve phone calls, emails, change of address notifications and forwarding of mail. However, one of the items that should be at the top of anyone’s list who is a Medicare beneficiary is notifying Medicare about your move.
Depending on what kind of coverage you have, you may or may not need to change your plan – but making sure you are covered is essential either way.
For those on Medicare, making sure that coverage remains in place in a new location takes a little bit of time and effort, but knowing that your coverage is secure and available is essential to your well-being and peace of mind.
What Changes for Medicare Recipients Who Move and What Doesn’t
For those enrolled in Original Medicare, Parts A & B, your coverage will not be affected, as these parts are the same across the country and in all U.S. territories.
If you are moving from New York to Florida to enjoy the warmer weather, your coverage is the same. If you are moving from Kansas to Arizona to be near your grandchildren, your coverage is the same.
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part D, the prescription drug coverage plan (PDP), you will be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) when you relocate. This SEP offers you the opportunity to enroll in the plan that is offered in your new town or city.
It’s possible that the same PDP you are enrolled in is provided in your new hometown, and if that is the case, you will not need to re-enroll. Once you notify Medicare that you are moving, your SEP begins a month before you move to your new home and continues for two months after.
If you wait to contact Medicare about your new location, then the three month SEP begins at that time. It’s best to enroll in PDP as soon as possible, so you don’t lose your prescription drug coverage. If you wait to re-enroll in Medicare Part D, you will be assessed a penalty.
What Happens to Medicare Part C Enrollees When They Relocate
Medicare Part C Enrollees, meaning those who are on a Medicare Advantage Plan, will have a little more work to do when they relocate.
Because Medicare Part C assigns specific physicians to its plan through local HMOs or PPOs, those who are beneficiaries of this plan will need to find local doctors who are Medicare Advantage approved.
In some areas, Medicare Advantage Plans are not offered, which may mean that you will have to enroll in Original Medicare to get your coverage. It’s worth considering this when deciding where to live.
How Does Moving Affect Medigap Plans
In all but three states (Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin), there are ten standardized Medigap plans available for Medicare enrollees.
While you may be able to remain on the same plan, you also may have an increase in your fees (or possibly a decrease), depending on where you go.
Don’t panic if the cost of your Medigap plan goes up a lot – there are other plans that you can consider to find something more affordable.
If you move and change plans, it’s possible that you will need to answer a health questionnaire administered by your new carrier to determine whether they will take you as a customer.
If you need more information, give us a call. We can help determine if your current Medicare plan is still the best plan for you after your move. If you need to information on enrolling in a Medicare plan for the first time, we can help with that too!