If you’re planning to move soon, you may not have realized that your move could affect your Medicare Advantage plan or Prescription Drug Plan coverage, especially if your new residence is located outside of your current plan’s service area. There are certain events that can occur in your life, such as moving, which qualify you to make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. The time frame during which you can make these changes is called a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
Per Medicare’s SEP guidelines, if you’re moving to a new address that is within or outside of your plan’s service area:
- You may switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan or Prescription Drug Plan.
- If you notify the carrier before your move, your opportunity to change plans begins the month prior to the month you move and ends two full months after you move.
- If you notify the carrier after you move, you are permitted to change plans starting the month you notify the carrier plus two additional full months.
If your current plan is offered within the county you’re moving to, you are not required to change plans. You simply need to notify the carrier of your address change.
If the county of your new residence is outside of your current plan’s service area, be mindful of the SEP timeline, which begins once you have notified the carrier of your new address. If you are moving out of state and are currently on a Medicare Advantage plan or Prescription Drug Plan, you will need to switch plans, as you’ll be moving outside of the service area for the plan. If you do not change Medicare plans during the allotted timeframe, you will be disenrolled from your current plan. Once disenrolled, Original Medicare will be your only coverage for the remainder of the year. You may enroll in a new plan for the following year during the Annual Enrollment Period.
Below are move-related SEP tips from our team:
- Call us and provide us with your move date, new address and county of residence. Our team can confirm if the county you’ll be moving to is covered by your plan or if you’ll need to switch to another plan. If you need to find a new plan, we can discuss your options and recommend a plan that best suits your needs.
Notify the carrier of your new address
- Even if your current plan is offered in your new county of residence and you do not intend to switch plans, the carrier needs to have the most up-to-date contact information so you can continue to receive communications from them.
Notify Social Security of your new address
- Provide Social Security with your new address to ensure you continue to receive your Social Security statements.
Keep track of your SEP timeline
- Remember that once you notify the carrier, you have a set period during which you can change your Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, should you choose to do so.