Moving with Medicare (What you need to know)

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How is your move going to impact your Medicare coverage, and what do you need to do to make sure your coverage is seamless? What you need to do depends on what type of Medicare plan you have.

However, it is in your best interest to at least re-shop the plan when you move. Every state has a different prices for their supplement plans. If you are moving to a state with generally lower premiums this may be an opportunity to save money. If you are moving to a state with generally higher premiums you may still want to shop because your insurance company will have the right to increase your premium to be consistent with their premiums for your age group in the new state. But, just because your insurance company may have been the best value for you at your current residence does not mean it will be the best value for you when you move.
So, with a Medicare supplement plan there is no requirement to do anything when you move to another state, but it is in your best interest to re-shop your plan and it cost nothing to shop.
If you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan (which are usually HMOs or PPOs) you will be required to take action before you move to another state. Unlike the Medicare supplement, your Part D prescription drug plan or your Medicare Advantage plan are only local coverage. They are designed and priced just for your county or surrounding area. If you move outside of their local service are you create a Special Enrollment Period.
Here is what you do, about 30-days prior to moving you contact your Medicare Part D insurance company or your Medicare Advantage insurance company and you inform them when you are moving and where you are moving to. If you are moving out of the local area they service, they will send you what we call a Disenrollment Letter.
The Disenrollment Letter is your Golden Ticket to have a Special Enrollment period.
With the Medicare Part D plan, you can re-shop your coverage to find which plan is best for you at your new zip code. You want to get into this new Part D plan within 63-days of when your existing coverage ends. Your window to change plans is between 60-calendar days before the end of your current insurance coverage and 63-days after your current insurance coverage is terminated to take action. So plan ahead.
If you have a Medicare Advantage everything is identical to what I just talked about with your Medicare Part D, with one twist. You want to make the change in your coverage seamless, but there can be up to a 63-day gap between when your current coverage ends and when your new Medicare Advantage plan begins. Keep in mind that Medicare Advantage plans vary greatly from state to state. Do not assume that the Medicare Advantage plan you have will be the same in another state. It won’t. You need to look carefully at your options and make an informed decision.

Do not assume that your best plan or best value one state is the same in another. Your Medicare supplement BENEFITS are the same everywhere, but prices change significantly.

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6 thoughts on “Moving with Medicare (What you need to know)

  1. Very interesting. You provide great videos.I’m wondering if you have a plan F medigap and in 2020 move to a less costly market, will you be able to reshop to a different F or will grandfathered holders be stuck with their plan since F won’t be sold to new to Medicare beneficiaries? Would it help if the medigap company also sells in the new state?
    In CA we have a guaranteed right in our birthday month to reshop medigap without underwriting. Same question…will that benefit continue for plan F holders after 2020?

    • Hi Lynda. I am glad you like my videos. This one here is on the changes in 2020: https://youtu.be/-IRmBtCwWx0 You do not get a free right to change plans when Plan F is phased out in 2020. You will have to qualify medically to move to a different plan at a fair price unless you are a resident of those states that have specific state laws allowing you to change plans without underwriting. Of course, the CA Birthday rule applies, as do rules in WA, NY, CT, and MO…and so on.

  2. Thanks for the info.  A question: What is a good way to handle Medicare (especially for its  premium and coverage) if my wife and I plan to live abroad for some years and come back?

    • The clients I have that are expatriates get a service that provides them an address (usually TX or SD) which they use for US SS and Medicare. If you fail to pay for Part B while abroad, when you move back to the U.S. you may go months without health coverage. This is because you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which runs January 1 through March 31 each year, with coverage starting July 1.

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