Are you moving to a different state? Whether you're heading somewhere warmer or moving closer to your family, you'll want to make sure your Medicare plan coverage remains in place. While the process to maintain coverage under each plan is a little different, it's important to plan ahead so you can stay covered under Medicare when moving to another state in retirement. Here's some guidance on how to ensure that you remain covered after your move.
1. Maintain Coverage With Original Medicare
Updating your Medicare when moving to another state is easy if you're happy with your Original Medicare coverage, as it's a national program that offers coverage across the country. Simply notify the Social Security Administration of your new address and your coverage will continue.
2. Find a New Medicare Plan or Provider in your State
When you move to a new state, do you want a new Medicare plan? If so, it's easy to find a new Medicare plan or provider. Navigate to the "Talk to someone" page on the Medicare website and select the state you're moving to. This should present you with a list of providers who can help.
3. Don't Delay Changing Your Medicare Advantage Plan When Moving
Most Medicare Advantage Plans are set up through Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs). These organizations offer a network of approved local medical professionals for their members who live in the local area, so you'll likely need to make changes to your Medicare when moving to another state — or even another county.
You'll want to find out about the types of coverage available, as well as the costs, before making your decision. Speak to your current plan provider about their options in your new state, or talk to someone at Medicare to find providers by state.
If you notify your plan before moving, you can switch plans anytime between the month prior to your move until two months after your move.
However, if you don't enroll in a new plan, you'll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare upon removal from your current Medicare Advantage Plan.
4. Keep Medigap Coverage After Moving to Another State
Medicare and Medigap are federal, country-wide programs. However, unlike Medicare Advantage Plans, they don't offer a Special Enrollment Period when you move to a different state.
If you have Medigap, you can keep your Medicare plan when moving to another state, provided that you still have Original Medicare. If you'd prefer to switch to a different Medigap plan, it's important to understand that your costs may change, and you may need to complete medical questions if you're outside of your open enrollment period.
Moving to a new state in retirement is a big decision. In addition to moving all of your household belongings, you'll also need to address your Medicare coverage. Don't wait until the last minute. Contact your current provider or reach out to a new provider in your new home state to ensure continued coverage.