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How Medicare and Dual Residency Works

Many individuals on Medicare participate in or are considered to have dual residency. Sometimes, known as “snowbirds.” If this sounds like you, and you’re a Medicare beneficiary, you might have questions. Luckily, we’re here with the information you need about how dual-residency affects your coverage.

Can You Have Medicare and Dual Residency?

You can have Medicare while living in two states, but you’ll choose one location as your primary residence. There will be some Medicare plans that 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 New York for half the year and staying in Florida for the colder half.

The last thing you want to worry about when enjoying the snowbird lifestyle is whether your health coverage is comprehensive. So, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about Medicare while living in more than one state.

What are the Medicare Dual Residency Requirements?

You must enroll in Medicare only in the state in which you primarily reside. Your primary residence is where you live most of the time. It’s where you hold your driver’s license, register to vote, and file taxes. Yet, your coverage will work as long as you visit practitioners who accept Medicare assignment. Fortunately, this list includes almost all practitioners in the United States.

Do Medicare Advantage Plans Work for Snowbirds?

Advantage plans involve networks. If you go outside of your network, you’ll need to pay the full cost of services. As private insurance companies offer Advantage plans, it’s best to determine whether the specific plan you’re considering provides the coverage you need. Unlike Original Medicare or Medicare Supplements, Advantage plans don’t work everywhere.

Does Part D Cover Me Out of State?

Part D plans are available to buy separately with Medicare coverage. If you choose an Advantage plan, it might include Part D. Before enrolling, you’ll want to make sure that the plan you choose covers both of your areas of residence. A good choice is a plan with a nationwide network, so your meds will have coverage no matter where you are in the United States.

Does Medigap Work With Dual Residency?

If you visit doctors accepting Medicare, Part A and Part B will cover a portion of the costs. Medigap plans are standardized by the federal government, meaning that each plan’s benefits are the same for all enrollees. The provider and the state that offers the plan don’t affect its benefits. Unlike Advantage plans, it doesn’t matter which state your doctor or facility is in if they accept assignment, and you have a Medigap plan. For those traveling outside of the United States, a Medigap plan covering foreign travel emergencies is the best choice.

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

Yes, you should be able to keep your Medigap plan if you move to another state. But, you might be paying more than you need. Suppose your principal residence changes from New York to Florida, and you’re still paying premiums for the plan you bought in New York. When moving from one of the states with the most expensive Medigap premiums, make sure to update your coverage to save money.


Does living in the U.S. and another country count as dual-residency for Medicare?
Living outside the U.S. part-time doesn’t count as a dual-residency for Medicare. You’ll need to determine if keeping your coverage or buying a Supplement is right for you. Make sure to obtain information about coverage in the other country where you reside.
Will Medicare pay for out of state care?
Yes, if you’re a Medicare beneficiary, your coverage travels with you. However, Advantage plans require patients to stay in their network. So, those with Advantage plans might need to pay more if they see a doctor out of the service area.
Does Medicare cost the same in every state?
Your Part A is premium-free if you’ve paid into enough quarters. The Part B premium is based on income. Yet, the price of Medigap plans varies. Your state of residence is one of the factors that influence your Medigap costs.

How to Get Medicare When Residing in Two States

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Lindsay Engle

Lindsay Engle is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

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