Do you have plans of moving to another state or even another county within your state? Or perhaps you’ve just recently moved? If you say yes to these questions then it’s definitely a busy time for you. However, you still may need to complete some tasks in order to be sure that your Medicare and social security benefits (learn about the differences between Medicare and Social Security) will continue. Below are some of the things you have to keep in mind when you decide to move to another state.
The kind of Medicare you have
If you are living within United States, you may be able to keep your Original Medicare (Part A and B). However, you should not fail to notify your healthcare providers regarding your decision to move and arrange for the transfer of your medical records.
In addition, you might also have a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, and/or a Medicare Supplement policy, working alongside your Original Medicare benefits.
How about my Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D?
If you’re signed up in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, a small change in residency, such as changing to another state, could qualify you for a Special Election Period (SEP). During your SEP, you’re allowed to enroll into a new plan that is held out in your new service area.
If you make a decision to permanently move someplace that’s not included by your current Medicare plan (that is, outside the plan’s service area), you should tell your plan instantly. If you give notice about the plan before you move, your SEP timeframe is four months long. It begins one month before the month you move and lasts for three more months after that. If you notify your plan after you move, you can switch plans the month you provided notice of the move and up to two months after that.
You can switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan during this time span of moving to a specific service area. If you like better, you can restore your Original Medicare.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan
If your present Medicare Advantage plan is not offered in your new service state, your Medicare Advantage plan is needed by Medicare to disenroll you. If you don’t sign up in a new Medicare Advantage plan during your SEP, you’ll come back to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). If you’d like to sign up for a new Medicare Advantage plan after you moved and your relocation-based SEP is over, you typically have to wait for the Annual Election Period (October 15 – December 7).
If you have a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
If you don’t sign up in a new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan during your SEP, you might end up without Medicare prescription drug coverage, and you could take a Medicare Part D late-registration fine if you make a decision to choose up this coverage later on. You may be suited to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, or to get your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan — but outside of an SEP, you usually have to wait for the Annual Election Period (October 15 – December 7).
What if you move to an address that’s still within your plan’s service area, but where new Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan options are available to you? This will qualify you for a Special Election Period. You may use this SEP to enroll into the new plan that is offered in your new service area.
Knowing this information about Medicare when moving to a state can greatly help maintain your coverage while making the process a lot easier for you.