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Medicare Advantage and Moving

Posted on September 29, 2021 by Kyle Walton

Can you change Medicare Advantage Plans when you move to a new location?

Relocating to a new area can be a chaotic time, especially if you are older. During the journey, it’s possible to lose track of the details. Luckily, your Medicare Advantage health insurance doesn’t have to be one of them.

Under current Medicare law, a recent move to a new location is considered a qualifying event for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This means that you won’t have to wait until the next Annual Enrollment Period or Open Enrollment Period to update your Medicare Advantage in a new location. In fact, the relationship between Medicare Advantage and moving is often a mutually beneficial one.

During a Special Enrollment Period, you are permitted to enroll in Medicare Advantage coverage for the first time, or switch your current plan to a better one. However, keep in mind that certain aspects of Medicare Advantage plans will typically require you to use a specific network of healthcare providers that usually vary depending on the area in which you live.

What is a Medicare Advantage Network?

A Medicare network is a list of pre-approved doctors, specialists, and healthcare providers that your insurance plan has already agreed to cover. This list of approved healthcare professionals and facilities can vary depending on your plan and the area in which you live.

Throughout the United States, some aspects of your Medicare network, such as healthcare coverage received under Original Medicare Parts A and B, are always the same. Although you will have to notify the Social Security Administration of your new address, you won’t need to change plans to get the same coverage under Original Medicare. 

When it comes to Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage, however, you will need to determine if your new address is still within your former plan’s service area. If it isn’t, you can choose a new plan that caters to residents of your new living area.

If you wish to switch your coverage to a plan that provides Medicare Parts C and D coverage in your new area, you can make the switch during the month of your move and up to two after your move.

Keep in mind that if you relocate out of your Medicare Advantage plan's service area and fail to enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan in your new area, you'll automatically be switched back to Original Medicare. This will happen when your old Medicare Advantage plan is forced to disenroll you because you no longer live in the area that your plan’s network caters to.

How can I keep my Medicare Advantage benefits in my new area?

When it comes to Medicare Advantage and moving, there is no need to be concerned about the fate of your coverage, provided that you notify the Social Security Administration of your new address regardless of what type of Medicare you have.

In the event that you are not able to keep your current doctor and network of healthcare providers, you will have the opportunity to select new, sometimes better doctors during your SEP. In addition, your new primary care physician will likely be able to recommend high-quality specialists in your new area.

At MedicareInsurance.com, our licensed insurance agents can help you research and compare hundreds of Medicare Advantage plans in your new area. This way, you can feel confident about the future of your health insurance coverage, whether it be hospital, medical, vision, dental, or hearing insurance. Contact us today to begin!

About the Author

Kyle Walton

Kyle is a professional writer with several years of experience helping to inform the public on many diverse topics and industries, including healthcare. He is a Kutztown University graduate, Class of 2017.

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