Medicare SEP for Moving: What You Need to Know
Reflecting on 2020, we’ve seen our lives change in ways we couldn’t have imagined just 12 months ago. Some of us have lost or changed careers. Others have moved across the country to be closer to friends and family. And some have left urban centers in favor of less populated areas.
If you’re a Medicare beneficiary who’s recently moved, your coverage could be impacted. Fortunately, there is a Special Election Period (SEP) that addresses moving. So you can feel free to move about the country while maintaining the best Medicare plan for you!
Identifying the SEP that applies to your special circumstances and making changes to your plan can be a confusing process to navigate. Here are a few of the most common questions about the Medicare SEP for moving and how it works.
Question #1: Am I eligible for the moving SEP?
There are several situations that can qualify you for this SEP. If you’ve recently moved outside your current plan’s coverage area, use this SEP to update your Medicare coverage. This SEP applies even if you’re moving into the US from abroad or moving into or out of a care facility.
If your move hasn’t taken you outside your plan’s coverage area—but has put you in a geographic location with new plan options—you can still use the Medicare SEP for moving to make changes to your coverage. An important consideration for any Medicare beneficiary planning a move is the health care options in their new community. So do some research before moving to ensure you’ll still have access to the care you need.
Please note: some Medicare plans allow beneficiaries to have residency in two states. Check your coverage or consult with a Medicare professional to see if you apply.
Question #2: How long does the SEP last?
Once you’ve moved, you have two months to take advantage of the SEP. Again, doing research in advance of your move will help expedite this process, especially if you’re selecting a plan that asks you to choose a primary care physician upfront (which some of them do).
Moving always comes with more to-dos and surprise decisions than we expect. So start looking for a plan and learning about your options as soon as possible. You don’t want to run out of time to find the best fit plan for you!
Question #3: What can I change during the Medicare SEP for moving?
If you qualify for the SEP, you have a few options for allowable changes:
- Option #1: Change from one Medicare Advantage (MA) plan to another MA plan
- Option #2: Change your existing MA back to Original Medicare
- Option #3: Drop an existing Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D) or add Medicare Part D
Please note: If you plan to enroll in a MA plan that already has prescription drug coverage, you cannot enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, too. If you’re enrolling in an MA plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage, you can add a Part D plan during the SEP.
Question #4: What if I forget and miss the SEP?
Not to worry! Every year, Medicare has an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) from October 15 through December 7. During this eight-week period, you can make many changes to your Medicare coverage, including enrolling in a new plan.
For more information about how your move may affect your Medicare coverage, contact My Senior Health Plan today by calling (877) 255-6273 or visiting our website.
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