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Tips for Moving to Another State with Medicare


If you’re moving to another state with Medicare, you’re going to want the best tips! Before relocating, you might want to learn more about how Medicare works in your new state. Also, you may want to prepare yourself for a change in premium or coverage options depending on your current policy.

How to Transfer Original Medicare to Another State

Those with Original Medicare planning a move to a new state go through a simple process to update residency. You must contact the Social Security Administration about your change of address.

If applicable, you may contact the Railroad Retirement Board instead. You’ll provide your new address and contact information that may need updating. You can also consider if this is a permanent move or if you’re looking to obtain dual residency.

Tips for Medicare Advantage and Moving to Another State

Advantage plans have doctor networks; these networks may vary from county to county. Since policies vary by county, moving will likely result in a necessary plan change.

If you have a Part C plan, upon moving, you can elect to go back to Original Medicare, or you may be able to enroll in a Medigap plan. Although, if you wish to select a new Part C plan, that’s an option.

Changing Medicare Advantage Plans When Moving

Moving is a change that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. The Special Enrollment Period will allow you to change your Medicare Advantage plan, only when you are moving out of your current plans service area. So, if you’re moving down the street, you likely won’t qualify for a plan change.

Understanding Moving to Another State With Medigap

Since Medicare is a federal program, coverage is the same across the United States. You won’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you have Original Medicare and a Medigap plan because these plans operate in all states the same way. But, you can always shop coverage in your new state, you just might go through underwriting when you apply for a new plan.

Keep in mind, Medigap rules vary by state. Some states, like Connecticut, have an all-year Open Enrollment Period for Medigap.

FAQs

Do I need to notify Medicare if I move?
If you move, contact the Social Security Administration with your change of address. This will update your address for Medicare.
Can you use Medicare in another state?
As a beneficiary, you can use your Medicare throughout the United States. If you’re traveling, make sure that the doctors you’re planning on seeing accept Medicare. You can always call the front desk before a doctor’s visit to make sure you won’t be in for any surprises.
Can I keep my Medicare Supplement if I move to another state?
There are ten standard Medigap options available for members. These Medigap plans are available in all states but Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. If you move with a Medigap plan, you may continue coverage. But, Medigap is more expensive in certain states.
Can I see a doctor in another state with Medicare?
As a Medicare beneficiary, you can travel to any of the states and have coverage. But, those with an Advantage plan likely need to stay in the service area to maintain coverage.
Do you lose Medicare if you move out of the country?
No, you can keep your Medicare if you move out of the country. If your dream is to retire abroad, then you’ll need to buy private health insurance or consider enrolling in the country’s public health plan.
Do I have to pay for Medicare if I live abroad?
If you need hospital care and can travel back to the United States, your Part A will still be available to you. However, unless you continue paying your Part B premium while living abroad, you won’t have any coverage for outpatient services if you return to the United States.

How to Transfer Medicare to Another State

If you make necessary calls ahead of time, you can prevent any lapse in coverage. After all, health insurance should be here to protect you, not cause you any harm. Are you moving soon? Are you considering a change of scenery? Don't worry about your Medicare; give us a call to talk about your options. You can contact our agents by calling the number above or fill out an online rate comparison form to get started today!

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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.

10 thoughts on “Tips for Moving to Another State with Medicare

  1. Hi, I moved this year and have Medicare with a Medigap plan. I want to keep my Medigap plan from the other state next year, too. I don’t like any of the plans available in the new state, and I have one that covers me anywhere they take Medicare. Am I able to do this?

    1. Hi Rani, you can continue your coverage with the Medigap plan you purchased in your previous state. However, make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to be in your current state.

  2. Hello,

    I have Medi-Care HealthNet in California currently, and I use it mainly for free psychiatrists visits and free prescriptions. I plan on moving to Georgia in a couple months. Will I lose my coverage? I’ve researched some psychiatrists in the area I am moving to and some of them accept Medicare. Can I transfer it? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hello – if your current Medicare Advantage plan is not available in the area that you move to, you will need to enroll in a new plan. Before doing this, you can research providers in your plan’s network, or choose Original Medicare with Medigap, in which case you can visit any practitioner who accepts Medicare. We wish you the best of luck in your move!

  3. Hello – Considering retiring early (from CA to NV) and bringing my 87 yr/old mother with us. She has a medicare advantage (?) plan now, United Healthcare. The town are we are relocating to is very small (pop 15k) and near the state line. The closest big city being 24 miles away, but in the next state. Will a medicare advantage plan allow her to go to the next closest city, that happens to be out of state for care? The next closest in state city is 75 miles away. Also, would the rules allow her to move coverage outside of the open enrollment period?

    1. Hi Dorice – she would need to choose a Medicare Advantage plan available in the new ZIP Code, and may not receive coverage across state/county lines. It all depends on which doctors are in the network. When moving, she would get a Special Enrollment Period. If she notifies her plan prior to the move, she’ll have a month before the move and two months after to enroll. If she notifies her plan after the move, she will have two months after the move to enroll.

    2. My father has a red and blue card from Pennsylvania at the age of 80 and wants to move to California to live with us. How can we successfully transfer benefits?

      1. Mindy, when your father changes addresses, all he must do is notify Medicare of the change. If he is on an Advantage plan, he will need to find a new plan that covers his new service area. If he is on a Supplemental plan, he will need to provide his new address to his carrier.

  4. Have a question. Due to a change in family circumstances, we have to move my wife’s mother from Illinois to live with us in Texas in the next 30 days. She is wheelchair bound and we will require daily assistance in the form of an aide, a service she currently receives in Illinois, to get her washed and changed as we are not physically able to perform these tasks ourselves. We aren’t in a financial position to be able to afford to pay for private in-home care and therefore need to transfer her Medicare/Social Security benefits in an expedited manner.

    It seems that to transfer her Medicare benefits, we need to establish her residency in Texas. The challenge is she won’t fly out here and she will be driven out in 30 days, but not any sooner. As soon as she arrives, we’ll need the in-home care to assist with taking care of her, so there’s the dilemma.

    All her credit cards and her state ID have her Illinois address. We will try to set up a local bank account for her as a form of ID for Social Security, but not sure with today’s more rigid security protocols that will even happen with her living in another state. Do you have any suggestions how to expedite the transfer? We are very concerned. Thanks.

    Brian & Diane

    1. Hello! Medicare does not pay for in-home care, Medicaid does. You’ll want to reach out to your local Medicaid office to find out what you need to do to transfer her benefits. Each state has different limitations and guidelines.

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