| Moving? Here's How it May Affect Your Medigap Plan

Medigap Plans | medicare supplemental insurance

HOW MOVING MAY AFFECT YOUR MEDIGAP PLAN

When it comes to your Medigap plan, you don’t want any surprises. However, your plans might change as you get older, near retirement, or decide to retire. Knowing how Medicare Supplement plans are impacted by geography can help you plan in advance.

Your-Medigap-plan-won’t-change-when-you-move.

When it comes to your Medigap plan, you don’t want any surprises. However, your plans might change as you get older, near retirement, or decide to retire. Knowing how Medicare Supplement plans are impacted by geography can help you plan in advance.

At one time, it was fairly common for retirees to move after they hung up their work gear for the last time. That trend has changed somewhat, according to USA Today, with 43 percent of people approaching retirement expecting to remain in their current homes.

However, that still leaves a large portion of the senior population. They want to go somewhere new — or perhaps travel extensively — and they need to know how such decisions will impact their healthcare coverage.

Let’s look at some Medigap plan facts that will put any of your worries to rest and ensure that you follow all Medicare rules when you decide to move after retirement.

ALL MEDIGAP PLAN OPTIONS ARE STANDARDIZED

Moving-doesn’t-have-to-impact-your-Medicare-Supplement-plan

Let’s say that you have Medigap Plan C. No matter what insurance company carries your policy, you have the same access to the same coverage. A different insurance company won’t impact the deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, or any other out-of-pocket expenses for which you’re responsible. Since insurance companies set their own rates, it could, however, affect your monthly premium.

Standardization of coverage is a relief for many retirees, especially those on fixed incomes. It also makes choosing a Medigap plan much simpler. You don’t have to compare different plans between individual insurance companies. Each one offers the same benefits.

Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have different standardization policies, but those are the only exceptions.

Standardization means you don’t have to worry about your coverage levels changing if you move somewhere new. Your Medigap Supplement plan will still cover the same deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and various other out-of-pocket costs that it did before you moved.

MEDIGAP IS A NATIONWIDE PROGRAM

Unlike certain other post-retirement healthcare options, Medigap covers the entire United States. When you move to a new state, your policy follows.

This can put many older adults’ minds at ease. You don’t have to go back to the drawing board and look at plans all over again.

GUARANTEED ISSUE RIGHTS MAY NOT APPLY

Some consumers mistakenly believe that they can rely on guaranteed issue rights to allow them to choose a new plan entirely. Maybe you’re not completely satisfied with the Medigap plan you chose, so you view moving as an opportunity to “reset the clock” on your initial enrollment period.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Guaranteed issue rights might apply if you have a Medicare SELECT plan and are moving outside its service area, but it doesn’t impact your Medigap plan.

Don’t rely on guaranteed issue rights to protect you during the move. Instead, plan to stick with your current Medicare Supplement plan so you can continue to reap its rewards.

YOUR PREMIUM CAN CHANGE WHEN YOU MOVE

The most important thing to realize about moving is that your premium can change. It might go up or down depending on your insurance company’s set rates.

You can call your insurance company to inquire about premiums in your destination zip code. They can tell you everything you need to know about how moving will impact your budget.

If your premium goes down, feel free to celebrate! You’ll pay less for healthcare coverage, which can help you manage your money more efficiently.

However, even if your premium increases, it’s not likely to break the budget. Keep calm during this process and approach your budget from this new perspective. Fitting it into your monthly expenses is often the best choice.

You can drop your Medigap plan and choose another one, but doing so puts you at risk for much higher premiums. Outside your initial enrollment period, you’re not protected from underwriting, so you’ll have to answer questions about your health, including pre-existing conditions.

YOU MUST NOTIFY YOUR INSURER THAT YOU’RE MOVING

If you decide to move after retirement, you need to let your insurance company know. Failing to give your new address could put you at risk for fees and other consequences, especially if you wait a long time to do so.

This is because insurance companies set premiums based on lots of factors. In some states, for instance, people prove healthier than others. Insurers adjust their rates accordingly. If your Medigap plan costs more in your destination zip code, it’s likely because the available medical data makes living in that area a higher risk to the insurance company.

If you tell your Medicare Supplement plan provider that you’re moving out of state in advance, you’ll be able to prepare much easier. Your insurer can tell you if you need to submit any documents, have your plan’s card changed, or make any other adjustments on your end. By the time you move into your new home, you’ll feel settled and stress-free.

CONCLUSION

Moving to a new zip code or state can be exciting. You get to explore new things and create a life for yourself that has nothing to do with what you did during your pre-retirement life.

Of course, moving comes with certain obligations and expenses, especially when it comes to your healthcare needs. You’ll have to find new physicians who accept Medicare and learn about local hospital, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that take Medicare.

Doing this research ahead of time allows you to transition more smoothly into life after you move.

But don’t neglect your Medigap plan. Contact your insurance company to let them know about your plans and to ask if there’s anything you need to do. Request a quote for premiums in your new home state so you can begin to budget for added expenses, if any.

If you’re applying for a Medigap plan for the first time, Ensurem’s Medigap Quoter is available to help. You can get quotes from numerous insurance companies to facilitate an informed decision. Plus, you’ll have access to resources on Medicare Supplement insurance to guide you through the process.

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