Medicare Supplement Plans and Moving Out of State
This article was updated on: 09/16/2018
If you’re currently enrolled in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan and moving out of state, you may be wondering if there’s anything you need to do. To avoid a lapse in coverage, read on to learn how Medicare Supplement insurance works if you’re moving and the types of situations where you may need to take action.
Medicare Supplement plans and moving out of state
In general, you should be able to keep your Medicare Supplement coverage if you’re moving, whether you’re moving out of state or moving to a different city within the same state. Medicare Supplement plans work with Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), and you can generally use these benefits with any doctor, health-care provider, or hospital that accepts Medicare. (The exception is if you’re enrolled in a type of Medicare Supplement plan called a Medicare SELECT plan, which may require you to use providers in the plan’s network.) You’ll need to stay enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to keep your Medicare Supplement coverage.
If you’re moving out of the country, the situation is more complicated. With a few exceptions, you’re not covered by Medicare for health-care services outside of the country. Some Medicare Supplement plans include emergency overseas coverage, but this isn’t meant to be a substitute for routine, long-term medical care, and you won’t otherwise be able to use your Medicare Supplement benefits to pay for Original Medicare costs, since Medicare coverage outside of the U.S. is limited.
Another situation where you may need to take action is if you’re moving either to or from Minnesota, Massachusetts, or Wisconsin. While most states offer up to 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans, these three states have their own Medicare Supplement plans, and you may need to change plans, depending on your situation. Contact your state insurance department to find out how moving might affect your coverage.
You might have the option to change Medicare Supplement plans if you like, but keep in mind that you may pay higher premiums or have troubling finding a plan if you have health issues. Outside of your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, insurance companies may deny you coverage for medical reasons or require medical underwriting. In certain situations, you may have guaranteed-issue rights (meaning the Medicare Supplement plan can’t deny you coverage, even if you have pre-existing conditions).
Medicare Supplement SELECT plans and moving out of state
While you usually can keep your Medicare Supplement insurance, no matter where you live, there are some exceptions. Medicare SELECT plans are a special type of Medicare Supplement plan that may require members to use provider networks in exchange for lower premiums. So, if you’re moving out of your Medicare SELECT plan’s service area, you may need to find a different plan.
If you have a Medicare SELECT plan and are moving out of the plan’s service area, you have a few options:
- You may be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan from your current insurance company that has the same level of coverage or less as your Medicare SELECT policy, if there’s one available.
- You have a guaranteed-issue right to enroll in any Medicare Supplement Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L offered by any insurance company in your state (or the state that you will be moving to). You can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan up to 60 days before, and no later than 63 days after, your current Medicare SELECT coverage ends.
Note that if you’ve been with your Medicare SELECT plan for more than six months, the insurance company can’t require medical underwriting. Contact the insurance company that offers your Medicare SELECT policy to make sure you understand your options. You can find this info on the back of your membership card.
Moving can be a good time to evaluate your Medicare needs. If you’re interested in switching Medicare Supplement plans or learning about different options that may fit your situation, I’m here to help. You can request a phone appointment or personalized email from me using the links below. If you’d prefer to browse plans now, click the Compare Plans button on this page.
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