How Medicare and your health insurance work when you move

If you are thinking of permanently moving out of the greater Saint Louis area, you might wonder how your health insurance benefits work.  Now, if you need help packing, I can’t help there…

If you have Original Medicare + a Supplement + Part D

When you get your coverage under this route, you have a lot of flexibility and openness.  You are not required to change your Medicare or Supplement benefits and they follow you wherever you move to.  With this type of coverage, you are able to see any doctor or hospital in your new city without pre approval or network restrictions.  Your Medicare Supplement stays the same price and benefits before and after the move.  Depending on where you move, you will probably find that your supplement is cheaper because you bought it in Missouri (which has some of the lowest Medicare Supplement rates in the country!).  If you would like to look at alternatives, the good news is that I can still assist in finding the right coverage.  My agency is currently licensed in 8 states and we have the availability to get licensed in all 50.  No matter where you move, we are there to help!

For your Part D plan, you are required to notify your insurance company that you are moving out of the state of offerance.  Part D plans are priced and offered based off of the state you live in.  So if you move outside of Missouri, you have an approximate 3 month window from when you finalize the move to switch to your new state’s Part D plans.  Once again, I can assist in finding the right plan based off of your prescriptions and the state you now call home.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (HMO or PPO)

If you get your benefits from a Medicare Advantage company, you have a little more work to do.  Medicare Advantage plans are specific to the county that you live in.  If you move outside of the service area, you would be disenrolled from your current Medicare Advantage plan.  At the same time you have a Special Election Period (SEP) to pick a plan based off of your new county.  In this situation, it can be helpful to have an idea of what hospital or medical system you would prefer to use in your new city before you actually move as each county in the country has specific Medicare Advantage plans, with some being more attractive (lower costs and larger networks) than others.  By having an idea of what hospital or doctor you would like to use, we can set up a plan that will fit that particular hospital system and your usage.  Finally, people that move outside of the service area of their Medicare Advantage plan are able to purchase a Medicare Supplement without underwriting.  However, your current age will determine the price you will pay.

For Snow Birds or people maintaining dual residences

If you maintain a dual residence, the preferred route to receive your Medicare benefits is with Original Medicare and a Supplement.  This allows you to receive care in either State without interruption.  If you decide to change your primary residence, from Missouri to Florida for example, Medicare and SS still consider this a change in residence so that same rules apply.

If you are thinking of moving or will move in the near future, please contact me to discuss how this will impact your specific situation and to discuss at alternatives.  With our independent agency, we are able to sift through all of your options to find the right option for you and your needs.