Medicare gives you a number of opportunities to take advantage of new choices when you move to or from a different area. Knowing your options is critical to maintaining your coverage. Medicare supplement plans generally allow you to move to an new area and then have a rating adjustment up or down depending on the state where you relocate.
Note that Medicare supplement plans are filed by state and changing your state will impact your plan. You do not need to buy a new supplement plan when you move in most cases.
Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plan contracts have a requirement that you report your move to the carrier. This is part of the terms and conditions of all Advantage and Part D applications when you sign up. Failure to notify the carrier of your move which you agreed to do will cause problems with the contract. Note that some Advantage plans are filed by county so just moving to a different to a different county can cause a loss of coverage.
With Medicare Advantage and Part D plans you get a "special election" period where you get to move to a new plan if your are leaving your old plan behind. This period may begin either the date of the permanent move or the date you provide notification of the move. If you let your plan know before your move date you can change the month before your move. If you have already moved your special enrollment begins the date you notify the plan. The special enrollment period continues for two months following the month it begins or the month of the move, whichever is later.
Regardless of your situation take this tip when moving: Call the customer service number on your Medicare plan card and discuss your moving plans in advance. It will save time, money and continue your valuable protection.
Betsy Vipond is CEO of The Senior Health Advisor and has been in insurance for over 38 years. She is a board member of Tampa Bay Health Underwriters part of the National Association of Health Underwriters and specializes in Medicare products. You may contact her at 800.603.0901.
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