Do you have plans to move to a new state during retirement, maybe to be near family or to enjoy a warmer climate? If so, you are not alone. And when it comes to moving, many people create a checklist to stay organized in the process. As a Medicare beneficiary, one thing you will need to add to your checklist of moving tasks is updating Medicare. Depending on the type of plan you have, you may need to change plans once you have a new address.
Hi, there. I'm Danielle Kunkle Roberts, co-founder here at Boomer Benefits and bestselling author of "10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make."
Although your Medicare Part A and Part B don't change when you move to a new state, your other plans, such as Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap plans can change. Let's first discuss Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans when you're moving states.
Medicare Advantage and Part D plans vary by county. Therefore, moving to a new state usually means you're moving outside that plan service area, and you will need to enroll in a new plan offered in your new service area. Moving outside your current plan's service area will create a special election period, or SEP, that allows you to change Medicare Advantage and Part D plans midyear. The SEP starts the month before you move and ends two months after the move. For example, if you move in July, your SEP starts on June 1st and ends September 30th. So, if you wait to notify your carrier until after you move, you'll have two months from the month you move to enroll in a new plan.
Moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan service area means you will qualify for a guaranteed issue window to apply for a Medigap plan without underwriting in your new state. This means, after you move, you could return to original Medicare and enroll in a Medigap plan without fear of being denied due to a preexisting condition. However, when using this guaranteed issue window, you are limited to specific Medigap plans. If you were eligible for Medicare prior to January 1st of 2020, the guaranteed issue plans that you can choose from are Medigap plans A, B, C, F, K, and L. If you became eligible for Medicare in 2020 or later, your guaranteed issue plans are Medigap plan A, B, D, G, K, and L. This GI window can begin as early as 60 days before you lose your Medicare Advantage plan and end as late as 63 days after your coverage ends, and you will choose an effective date for your Medigap plan that won't start until your Medicare Advantage plan has officially ended.
Now that we've discussed Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, let's talk about moving to a new state when you have a Medigap plan. One of the great things about Medigap plans is that they have no networks, meaning you can use them anywhere in the country that accepts Medicare. Because of this feature, when you move to a new state, your Medigap plan travels with you, and you're able to remain enrolled. However, your premium may change. Your premium may either increase or remain the same. We have seen occasions where the premium is actually decreased. This is because Medigap rates are partially based on the zip code in which you live. If your move creates an increase in your monthly Medigap premium, you may decide to shop rates and see if a different Medigap plan in your new zip code is cheaper. However, moving States while enrolled in a Medigap plan doesn't enable a Medigap open enrollment or guaranteed issue window. Therefore, applying for a new Medigap plan in your new state will often require that you go through medical underwriting in most States.
If you're moving soon and you enrolled on your own, or with an independent agent, because you hadn't heard of Boomer Benefits yet, and you've always wanted to be a Boomer Benefits client, now could be your chance to become our client and gain access to our legendary client service team. Give us a call at (817) 249-8600, and let us handle your move with Medicare for you. If you aren't sure which type of plan you want to enroll in, in your new state, check out this video here on Medicare Advantage plans versus Medigap plans. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video.