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Moving & Medicare

by Jeff Dailey

When moving to a new primary residence in another State or County, it is important to be aware that you may be required to change your Medicare Health Plan. Moving does not affect benefits for Part A (Hospitalization) and Part B (Outpatient) of Original Medicare. Nor does a change of residence affect your benefits for Medicare Supplements (often referred to as MediGap Plans). However, when moving to a different County or State there are two types of plans that can affect your benefits. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D Prescription Plan, and that plan is not serviced in your new State or County of residence, you may need to change plans. Moving & Medicare
Part D Prescription Plans can vary from State to State and therefore may not work for you if you move to another State. If you are on a Medicare Advantage plan, you should know that Medicare Advantage plans can vary from County to County and there is the possibility that your plan may not work for you if you move to another County. Most people are aware of the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare Health Plans every year (currently from October 15 to December 7), however if you move to a new State or County and your plan is not serviced there, you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and do not have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period to change plans.
When changing plans during a Special Enrollment Period, you are not required to stay with the same insurance company. This is important because plan benefits and doctor networks can vary geographically, even with the same insurance company. So a company may have plans that perform better in some locations than others. Do not assume that simply because you choose to remain with the same company that your benefits will remain the same or comparable as they were on the plan at your former residence. Also, do not assume that you will access to the same size of provider network as you did at your previous home.

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