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Medicare Living in Two States


Many individuals on Medicare have dual residency. Sometimes known as snowbirds, those with dual residency typically live in one state during the spring/summer months and another during the fall/winter months.

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If this sounds like you and you are eligible for Medicare, you likely have questions. Luckily, we have the information you need about how having Medicare while living in two states affects your coverage.

Can You Have Medicare in Two States?

You can have Medicare while living in two states, but you must choose one location as your primary residence. Some Medicare plans will benefit you more than others when you have multiple homes.

Some retired people choose to reside in two different locations. An example is living in Utah for the warmer half of the year and staying in Florida for the colder half. People with this lifestyle are often called snowbirds.

While you can have Medicare while living in two states, you should ensure your plan covers you in more than one location. The last thing you want to worry about when enjoying the snowbird lifestyle is whether your health coverage is comprehensive.

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Can I See a Doctor in Another State with Medicare?

You must enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) only in the state in which you primarily reside. Your primary residence is where you live most of the time. This will be the state where you hold your driver’s license, register to vote, and file taxes.

Because Medicare is a federal program, your coverage will work if you visit practitioners who accept Medicare and, if your plan requires, are in your network. Unfortunately, if your plan includes a network, it may be challenging to find a provider in both areas that accept your plan.

Do Any Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Multiple States?

Most Medicare Advantage plans involve networks. If you go outside your network, you will likely pay a higher cost or the total cost of services. As private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans, it is best to determine whether the policy you are considering provides the coverage you need in all your locations.

Unlike Original Medicare or Medicare Supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans do not work everywhere. This is why many Medicare enrollees living in two states choose a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. Medigap pairs with your Original Medicare, ensuring you receive coverage no matter where you are within the U.S.

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Snowbird Medicare Coverage

If you consider yourself a snowbird, you must live in multiple states. Typically, snowbirds live in a colder state during the summer months and a warmer state during the winter months.

If you are a snowbird with Medicare coverage, you should ensure Medicare has your permanent address on file. Your permanent address should match your driver’s license and tax returns. Often, snowbird Medicare coverage includes a Medicare Supplement plan to ensure you receive coverage without hassle in any state you may live in throughout the year.

It is difficult to have a Medicare Advantage plan while living in two states because you will need to ensure you have doctors within your network in both locations.

Does Medicare Part D Cover Me in Two States?

Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are available through private insurance companies. This coverage works alongside your Original Medicare.

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If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, it will likely include prescription drug benefits. Before enrolling, it is crucial to ensure that the policy you select covers both of your areas of residence.

A good choice is a plan with a nationwide pharmacy network, so your meds will have coverage no matter where you are in the United States.

Does Medigap Work in Two States?

If you visit doctors accepting Original Medicare, Part A and Part B will cover most of the costs. Medigap plans are standardized by the federal government, meaning that each plan’s benefits are equal for all enrollees.

Medigap benefits are not affected by the carrier and state offering a policy. So, you can use your Medicare Supplement plan wherever you are in the U.S.

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Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, it does not matter which state your doctor or facility is in if they accept Medicare assignment when you have a Medigap plan. When you travel outside the United States, your Medigap plan may even cover some foreign travel emergency benefits.

Can I Keep My Medicare Supplement if I Move to Another State?

When moving to another state, you should be able to keep your Medigap plan. However, you must change your address with the carrier when you move.

For example, suppose your permanent residence changes from Mississippi to South Dakota, and you still pay premiums for the plan you bought in Mississippi. You may save money when you begin paying South Dakota premiums.

FAQs

Does living in the U.S. and another country count as dual residency for Medicare?
Living outside the U.S. part-time does not count as dual residency for Medicare. You must determine if keeping your coverage or buying a Medicare Supplement will be worth it for you. Make sure to obtain information about coverage in the other country where you reside.
Will Medicare pay for out-of-state care?
Your Original Medicare coverage travels with you throughout the United States. However, Medicare Advantage plans require patients to stay in their network – which your carrier can restrict to your state or even your county. Thus, those with Medicare Advantage plans may need to pay more if they see a doctor outside of their plan’s service area.
Does Medicare cost the same in every state?
Your Medicare Part A is premium-free when you pay taxes for enough quarters. The Medicare Part B premium is based on income. Yet, the price of Medigap plans varies, with your location being an influencing factor.

How to Get Medicare Living in Two States

When you live an active lifestyle, you want to know that you can rely on your healthcare coverage. We can help determine the best combination of coverage for you, regardless of where you live. Working with a licensed agent is one of the best ways to get started.

Call the number above to connect to an agent for a free consultation. Another option for a free premium rate quote is to fill out our online rate form. We will compare plans in your area and pair you with the best coverage.

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Sources:

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Special Circumstances, Medicare. Accessed August 2022.
    https://www.medicare.gov/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan/special-circumstances-special-enrollment-periods

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

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