How Medicare works across state lines

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If you live or travel in multiple states, it’s essential to know how Medicare works across different states. Whether you are moving to a new state, maybe you live in multiple states, or travel frequently I want to clarify some things for you.

Let’s start with the main parts of Medicare. When you join Medicare, you’ll likely join Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (doctor’s insurance). Now, no matter which state you live in, Part A and B will always remain the same and will always remain constant.

Now, there are two different Medicare programs to pick from. There’s Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Depending on the plan that fits you best, there will be separate rules to follow whether you travel or live in multiple states.

Now, if you join Medicare Advantage, and you live in multiple states, it can create issues since Medicare Advantage plans work like HMO or PPO.

For example, let’s say that you live in California, and you’re on a Medicare Advantage plan, and you decide that you’re going to move to Texas with that Medicare Advantage plan. If they do not offer that same Advantage Plan in Texas, then you qualify for a special enrollment period where you can switch plans.

Another example, let’s say you’re on Original Medicare, and you live in California and you have a Part D drug plan and a supplement plan. If you decide to leave California for Texas, you will automatically be able to pick a new prescription drug plan once in Texas.

However, with your supplement plan, you likely will not have that same flexibility to pick a new supplement plan. Most supplements are offered across multiple states. So, if you plan on moving to a different state at some point, we always have our clients look at how a plan works in both states.

Due to Medicare insurability rules around supplemental plans, you can’t just pick a plan or switch plans whenever you want in most states. So we do recommend that you select a plan that will work in both states, whether you move or not.

My recommendation is that if you’re moving and you plan on choosing Original Medicare and a supplemental plan, make sure that you’re picking a plan that will work in your current state, as well as your future states.

With Medicare Advantage, you’re going to have more flexibility to switch plans when you move. Additionally, it’s important to note that when you do move, you have a three-month window to change plans.

If you live in multiple states, here’s what you need to know.

You will apply for Medicare and your specific plans, whether it’s a Medicare Advantage, supplement, and/or Part D plan. I recommend you pick a plan that will work in the states you live in, which for most people is Original Medicare.

Original Medicare allows you to see any doctor who accepts Medicare across the entire country, which is why it tends to work best for people living in multiple states.

Once you are on Medicare, you will use this single plan in all your states without enrolling or unenrolling.

Medicare can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to b. The Medicare Coach does everything we can to help you make the right decision for your situation.

You can join the Medicare coach by CLICKING HERE.