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Will my Medicare coverage follow me if I move out of the state?

Josh Schultz // July 22, 2021

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Q: Will my Medicare coverage follow me if I move out of the state?

A: If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, then yes. But Medicare AdvantagePart D prescription drug coverage, and some Medigap plans can be state-specific.

Today's Medicare Poll

medicare-poll

Did you take advantage of the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

No, I did not make any changes during the MAOEP.
70.5%
Yes, I switched to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
23.1%
Yes, I switched to Original Medicare.
6.4%
Check with your insurance provider before moving to make sure your insurance is transferable and will be accepted by doctors and hospitals in your new state of residence. When moving, you’ll have access to a special enrollment period or guaranteed issue right you can use to select new coverage.

Can I keep my Medigap coverage if I move to a new state?

Original Medicare has participating providers across the country. If you have Original Medicare plus a Medigap plan, your Medigap insurer must allow you keep your coverage. What you pay for your Medigap plan may change though, because states differ in their rules for determining Medigap premiums.

You can’t keep your current coverage if you’re moving to Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, where Medigap plans operate differently. If this is the case, you’ll have an opportunity to apply for new coverage. Contact your state insurance department for more information.

What happens to my Medicare Advantage coverage if I move to a new state?

Medicare Advantage and Part D plans have defined service areas. If you are moving out of your plan’s service area, you have two months before and after the move to select new Advantage or Part D coverage. You can do this by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.

Moving can also be an opportunity to switch to Original Medicare if you’re unhappy with Medicare Advantage. While most Advantage enrollees who transition to Original Medicare face barriers to purchasing Medigap outside of their open enrollment period and must go through medical underwriting, Advantage enrollees leaving their plan’s service area have a guaranteed issue right to purchase any Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L.

People who first qualified for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 are not eligible to enroll in Medigap Plans C or F, but can use their guarantee issue right to purchase Plan D or G instead. The guaranteed issue right starts two months before and lasts for 63 days after your Medigap coverage ends.

Will moving to a new state affect my Medicare SELECT coverage?

If your Medigap coverage is with a Medicare SELECT plan, it has a localized provider network that you’re required to use, and thus will no longer be suitable if you’re moving out of state. As long as you’ve had the SELECT plan for at least 6-months, you can purchase a regular Medigap plan from your current insurer with the same or fewer benefits than your current SELECT plan. You can also use your guaranteed issue right to purchase any Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L, regardless of how long ago you enrolled in Medicare SELECT. (As mentioned above, people who qualified for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 can’t enroll in Plan C or F, but can select Plan D or G instead.)


Josh Schultz has a strong background in Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. He coordinated a Medicare ombudsman contract at the Medicare Rights Center in New York City, and represented clients with extensive Medicare claims and appeals. In addition to advocacy work, Josh worked for the health insurance exchange technology firm hCentive. He also has held consulting roles, including at Sachs Policy Group, where he worked with insurer, hospital and technology clients.

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