Whether you’re a senior relocating for family or retirement, one more thing you need to add to your long to-do list is making sure your Medicare coverage moves with you. Here’s what you need to know when moving with Medicare.
Does My Medicare Move with Me?
When seniors with Medicare move, a very common question is, “Can I keep my Medicare plan?” And like with most things that involve Medicare, the answer depends. The answer to this question depends on the type of Medicare coverage you have.
If you have Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B), rest easy knowing moving with Medicare is fairly simple. All you have to do is update your residency through Social Security. There’s no need to update your plans or enroll in new coverage because Original Medicare is a federal program with no provider network. So, coverage is the same in all 50 states.
What About Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Plans?
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Medicare Part C) or a Part D prescription drug plan, this is where things can get a bit more complicated when moving. Your Medicare Advantage plan and Part D plan may not work when you move as these plans have doctor networks or different coverage areas that don’t extend past a certain county or state. So, when you move out of your current plan service area, you’ll need to change your plan.
Don’t stress yet, though – when you move, Medicare will give you time to pick new coverage options.
Moving with Medicare and Your Special Enrollment Period
When you have a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan, upon moving, you’ll receive a Special Enrollment period. Typically, you can only change your Medicare coverage during the Annual Enrollment period, but the Special Enrollment period allows you to change your Medicare coverage one time. Your Special Enrollment period will start the month you tell your plan and continue for another two months.
During this period, you can elect to go back to Original Medicare, choose a different Medicare Advantage plan, choose a different Part D plan, or you may be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan (also known as a Medigap plan). For your Part D prescription drug plan, remember to ensure all your prescription drugs are covered by your new plan and that there will be no surprises with coverage. You don’t want to add more stress by forgetting to double-check this!
Keep in mind, the Special Enrollment period will allow you to make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan and Part D plan only when you move out of your current plan’s service area. If you’re moving down the street, you likely won’t qualify for a plan change.
Other Moving with Medicare FAQs
Moving with Medicare can be complicated. Here are some answers to other frequently asked questions to help straighten things out.
Do I need to notify Medicare if I Move?
Short answer: yes. No matter what type of Medicare coverage you have, you’ll want to contact the Social Security Administration with your change of address, and this will update your address for Medicare. You’ll also want to contact the insurance company that you have your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan through, as this will allow you to disenroll.
Can I See a Doctor in Another State with Medicare?
If you have Original Medicare, rest easy knowing you can travel to any of the states and have coverage.
If you’re moving, though, keep in mind to find a new primary care doctor in your area as soon as possible. You don’t want to delay care when you really need it. To ensure your physician accepts Medicare, you can call the office and speak with them yourself or use the Medicare Physician Finder online tool.
Do You Lose Medicare if You Move Out of the Country?
You can keep your Medicare if you move out of the country. However, Medicare will not cover any healthcare services performed overseas. If you dream of retiring abroad, then you’ll need to buy private health insurance or consider enrolling in the country’s public health plan.
Need Help Moving with Medicare?
When it comes to moving with Medicare, if you take the necessary steps ahead of time, you can prevent any lapse in coverage. After all, your health insurance should be there to protect you, not cause any harm. If you’re moving to Arizona for the first time or are looking to move somewhere else in the Grand Canyon State, you might need help reviewing your Medicare options. Our team is here to help you look for an affordable plan that captures your new local providers and pharmacy prescriptions.
We will guide you through your options and assist you in signing up for coverage that meets your needs. Even after you sign up for a plan, we will be available every time you need us. We are based in Scottsdale but are happy to assist you no matter where you are in Arizona. Jeffery Insurance is Arizona’s health care resource!