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How Can I Change Medicare Plans if I’m Moving to Another State?

"How Can I Change Medicare Plans if I'm Moving to Another State?" image over text of senior citizens packing boxes

Moving to a new state and need to change Medicare plans? Give our experienced licensed agents a call today at (800) 950-0608.

Just the Essentials...

  • Original Medicare remains the same, no matter where you go.

  • Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage plans are exclusive to their location.

  • You will need to change your Medicare Advantage and Part D plans whenever you relocate to another state.

  • Relocating to another state typically qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) in which you can change your Medicare Advantage and Part D plans without incurring a penalty.

Do I Have to Change Medicare Plans if I’m Moving to Another State?

Sometimes you need a fresh start, and that may mean relocating to another state. When you move somewhere new, your current Medicare Advantage and Part D plans probably will not work in your new home state. This means that you’ll have to switch to a plan that is offered in your new area.

Having to switch plans can feel incredibly inconvenient, leading you to try and figure out how to transfer health insurance to another state. It’s not as tough as you think, though. Let’s take a look at how you can change Medicare plans if you’re moving to another state.

Original Medicare Plans Will Not Change

If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), you won’t have to worry about changing Medicare plans if you relocate to a different state. Original Medicare is managed and run completely by the federal government, so the plan remains the same no matter where you live.

The only thing you’ll have to do in this instance is inform Medicare of your change of address. You can do this in one of three ways:

  • By filling out a Medicare Change of Address form online via your MySocialSecurity profile
  • By calling the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213
  • By filling out a Medicare Change of Address form and mailing it in or bringing it to your local Social Security office

In Most Instances, Your Medigap Plan Will Not Change

Another type of plan that likely will not change when you move to another state is your Medigap plan. This is because Medigap plans are standardized, meaning that while they are sold by different companies at different premium rates, the benefits offered by Medigap policies remain the same.

The only instance in which you’d need to change your Medigap plan after a move would be if you relocate to any of the following three states:

  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin

While Medigap plans offered in these states are still standardized, the benefits differ from those of Medigap plans offered throughout the rest of the United States.

Medicare Advantage

If you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan and you move to another state, you will more than likely have to change Medicare plans to one that is offered in your new location. While these plans are government-regulated, the insurance companies that issue them have the right to vary their plans by location. 

In other words, you may opt to stay with the same company in your new state, but you’ll need to choose a new Part C plan. Usually, this is due to a change in your available covered network.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans (Part D)

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) plans fall along the same lines as Medicare Advantage plans. While the government regulates them, insurance companies have the right to vary the benefits they offer by location. 

With that said, changing your Part D plan after a move may not always be necessary. You may find that you’ve moved to a new city within your plan’s network, and therefore are able to keep your plan. However, if you move to a city outside of your plan’s network, you’ll need to enroll in a new Part D plan.

I Didn’t Think I Could Switch Plans Outside of Open Enrollment, Though. What’s the Deal?

This is typically the case. Most of the time, you have to wait for specific Open Enrollment Periods before you can change Medicare plans. However, in certain cases, you may be able to change your plan outside of those given times.

Certain life events, such as moving to a new state, typically qualify you for what is known as a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). SEPs give you an opportunity to look at Medicare Advantage plans available to you in your new area. They also allow you to enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan if necessary.

When you move, the start of your SEP depends on when you tell your provider that you have relocated. If you let your provider know beforehand, your SEP will start a month before you move and last up to two months after your move is finished. If you notify your provider after your move, your SEP will start when you let them know and last up to two months after.

Compare Before You Move

If you’re planning to relocate in the near future, it’s a given that you’ll have to change your Medicare Advantage plan. That’s why it’s important to begin comparison shopping today using your future zip code to find plans in your area. MedicareInsurance.com is happy to provide you with a free comparison tool that can help you find a new Medicare Advantage plan that works for you in your new area. Just enter your zip code below to get started!

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