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Moving out of state? Here is what you need to know about changes to your Medicare coverage

If you are a Medicare beneficiary who is considering relocating to a different state, there are many factors about your health coverage to keep in mind before you move. Medicare has its own rules that apply to moving locations, such as how the costs may vary in a different state or county across the U.S., and how long you get to make changes into a new plan.

Original Medicare consists of two parts: Hospital Part A and Medical Part B (read more about what Medicare covers here). Members with the basic coverage typically pair it with a standalone Part D prescription drug plan, and a supplemental plan (Medigap) that will limit how much they will pay out of pocket each year. Those who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Part C) have prescription drugs included in their plan. But unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans have maximum out of pocket costs - but they do offer additional coverage for services like dental and vision.

No matter which Medicare plan applies to your situation currently, it is important to know what the next steps are if you plan to relocate, in order to make sure you don't experience any lapse in coverage or end up accidentally paying more than you were previously.

Here is a condensed summary of what you need to know for each type of plan mentioned above:

  • Medicare Supplement/MediGap: These supplemental plans are standardized across most states, identified as a letter from A through N, so it is easy to remain in the same plan. However, the cost may vary depending on the new location. All you have to do is call your insurance carrier and tell them the new zip code to figure out what the new cost would be.

  • Medicare Advantage (Part C): The availability of MA plans and the specifics vary from state to state, and the specifics inside the plans will be different. You will have a leeway period of only have two months to switch into a new Advantage plan - even if it goes by the same name as the old one. Medicare Advantage plans may also be limited in certain areas, so it's important to do some prior research.

  • Prescription Drug Plan (PDP): If you are not enrolled in Medicare Advantage and have a stand alone Part D plan through Medicare, you will need to enroll sign up for a new one in the new state. This is because Part D benefits are state-specific, so the benefits will vary. When you move, you will have two months to make a change or else you will have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) in October to make any changes to your coverage.

Whether you are a loved one are deciding to relocate due to the coronavirus pandemic or for an unrelated reason, be mindful of how it will effect your health insurance. In most cases, the act of switching plans state to state is pretty straightforward and simple as long as you abide by the guidelines Medicare supplies.

If you are a Senior who needs help shopping around and comparing different kinds of Medicare plans, call 1-844-244-8000 or visit The Rose Boys website today and speak to one of our Licensed Agents who can assist you in seeing what makes the most sense both coverage-wise for your location, and financially for your current situation.

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