24 Sep Medicare Changes When Moving
If you have health insurance coverage through Medicare, and you are planning to move or have already moved, then you might need to make changes to your Medicare coverage.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program in the United States that provides coverage to individuals who are 65 and older and eligible for Social Security retirement benefits; anyone who has been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 2 years; or anyone who has ESRD or ALS.
Triage Cancer’s Quick Guide to Medicare and Extended Quick Guide to Medicare offer a more in-depth summary of the components and costs of Medicare. And we have additional Quick Guides on other topics related to Medicare.
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So…does moving mean that you have to change your Medicare plan? It depends.
Do you have original Medicare?
Generally, when you have original Medicare (Parts A and B) that is fee-for-service coverage, which means that you can go to any provider that accepts Medicare. But if you have a Part D plan for prescription drug coverage, you need to check to see if the plan is still available at your new home. Also, if you have a Medigap Plan for supplemental coverage, you can keep that plan no matter where you live as long as you still have original Medicare. If you want to switch to a different Medigap policy, you will need 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.
Do you have a Medicare Advantage Plan?
If you instead get your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C – managed care), there are specific networks of providers covered by that plan. So, you will need to see if your plan still covers providers in the area of your new home.
What to do if you are:
- Moving to a new address that isn’t covered by your insurance
- Moving to a new address that is covered by your insurance, but there are new plan options
For Part D and Part C plan changes:
If you tell your plan before you move, your chance to switch plans begins the month before the month you move and continues for 2 full months after you move.
If you tell your plan after you move, your chance to switch plans begins the month you tell your plan, plus 2 more full months.
If you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plan, you can also return to original Medicare. You must enroll in a new Part C plan during the above timeframes or you’ll automatically be enrolled in original Medicare when you unenroll from your old Part C plan.
What will you pay?
You may also pay a different price for your coverage, depending on where you live. You can call your Part D, Part C, and Medigap plan insurance companies and give them your new zip code to get an idea what you will pay when you move.
For more information, visit the Medicare.gov page about Special Circumstances and Special Enrollment Periods.
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