Moving and Medicare: What Happens to Your Medicare Plan When You Move?

moving and medicare

In the wake of 2020’s many disruptions, have you been reevaluating your living situation? Maybe you’re motivated to downsize due to soaring home values. Or you have a renewed sense of family and a desire to be close to your loved ones. Possibly you always planned on moving in 2021.

Whatever the reason, moving house is a disruption that can affect many parts of your life, including Medicare. Here’s what you need to know about moving and your Medicare coverage.

Moving with Original Medicare

When you’re on Original Medicare, moving is pretty simple. For Medicare Parts A and B, your coverage stays with you. You’ll need to find a new physician, but this shouldn’t be too difficult since 99% of doctors take Medicare.

The flexibility of keeping your plan when you move is one reason you may prefer Original Medicare over Medicare Advantage—especially if you have homes in different locations.

Moving and Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Part D

Moving with a Medicare Advantage Plan and Part D (prescription drug) coverage is much different. Medicare Advantage Plans are county-based, so even if you’re just moving within your home state you’ll need to find out if your coverage is available at your new address.

If your move keeps you within the geographic boundaries of your current Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D coverage, you don’t need to make any changes. You can keep the same Medicare Advantage or Part D plan you have now. But you still have the option to

  • enroll in a different Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, or
  • return to Original Medicare and enroll in Part D.

If your move takes you outside of the geographic boundaries of your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, your current plan ends. You’ll need to select a new plan that is available in the area you’re moving to. But even if you’re required to make a change, you still have a few choices. You can enroll in

  • a new Medicare Advantage plan,
  • a new Part D plan, or
  • Original Medicare.

You can find information on the plans available in your new geographic area here.

Enrolling in a new Medicare plan

There are a few avenues for making move-related changes to your Medicare coverage. Depending on your situation, you might need to make changes right away using the Special Election Period (SEP) for moving. Or you may be able to wait for Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).

Enroll right away using the SEP

There’s always a SEP available for beneficiaries who move. The SEP starts when you let your provider know you’re relocating. Notify your plan provider before the move and your SEP starts the month before you move and can last for two months after your move. If you don’t tell your plan provider until after you move, you have the month you let them know, plus two additional months to make changes.

Wait for AEP

AEP takes place every year from October 15 to December 7. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries—including those who’ve recently moved—can make changes to their coverage. Learn more about AEP here.

Contact a Medicare professional

Are you moving this summer? If so, consult with a professional to learn about the best coverage options for you. Talk to one of our licensed agents about your Medicare plan after your next move. Click here, or call us today at 800.735.2929.


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