Changing residences often requires switching to a new health insurance policy. Most policies are network-based and are reduced to certain geographic locations. Medicare is different, though – of its four policies, two don’t have a network at all. What you need to do after moving depends on the type of Medicare plan you have.
Do I Need To Do Anything If I Have Original Medicare?
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage applies throughout the country. You’ll get the same coverage no matter where you are.
The only thing you’ll need to do is inform your policy of your new home address. You’ll have to keep your details current, but you won’t have to do anything in terms of signing up for a different policy.
Will I Have To Change Medicare Plans If I Have Medicare Advantage?
Most Medicare Advantage plans have a network. Medicare Advantage is exclusive to private insurance providers who have contracts with select healthcare practitioners within the network area.
Medicare Advantage plan networks vary in size. If you move to another neighborhood in the same county, you may not have to do anything at all. However, it’s a different story if you move to a new city or state.
Moving outside your plan’s network initiates a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). During the SEP, you can enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan without waiting until the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 to December 7).
If you notify your plan that you’ll be moving in advance, the SEP will begin the month before you move and last until two full months after you move. But if you inform your plan that you’ve changed residences after you’ve moved, the SEP begins the month you notify them and ends two full months later.
Can I Keep My Medicare Part D Plan If I Move?
Moving to a new area will require you to drop your current Medicare Part D coverage and switch to a different Medicare drug plan. This is because Part D policies are exclusively sold by private insurance companies that have contracts with pharmacies within the network. Part D is not nationwide like Original Medicare.
The process for switching to a different Part D plan is exactly the same as switching to a new Medicare Advantage plan after moving. If you inform your insurer you’ll be moving in advance, you’ll have from the month before you move to two full months after to join a new plan. If you inform your insurer after you’ve moved, you have from the month you tell your plan to two full months after to join a new Part D plan.
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