If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare supplemental plan (Medigap) and are leaving the state, you may be wondering if you need to do something. Read on to learn how Medicare’s supplemental insurance works, when you move, and in what situations you may need to act.
Supplemental Medicare plans and exit from the state
Generally speaking, you should be able to keep coverage of your Medicare supplement if you move, whether you leave another state or move to another city within the same state. Medicare supplemental plans work with Original Medicare, and you may usually get these benefits from any health care provider, doctor, or hospital which accepts Medicare policy. An exception is when you are enrolled in a Medigap policy called a Medicare SELECT Plan, which may require the use of network plan providers. You must still remain in Medicare Part A and B to maintain your Medicare supplemental coverage.
The situation is more complicated when you are leaving the country. With few exceptions, Medicare does not cover for out-of-country health care services. Some Medicare supplement plans involve emergencies overseas, but this is not meant to be a replacement for long-term routine care, and you may not have the ability to use your Medigap benefits for original Medicare costs, as these will not be covered by Medicare. Coverage is limited outside the United States.
Another instance where you may need to take action is when moving to or from Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. While most federal states provide up to ten standard Medigap plans, the 3 states have their own Medigap policies; you may have to change plans based on your situation. Contact your state insurance department to find out how your move affects your coverage.
You may be able to change Medicare supplemental plans if you wish, but keep in mind that you can pay higher premiums or interfere with the search for a plan if you have health problems. Outside of your open label period of Medicare Enrollment, insurance may deny you medical coverage or require a medical subscription for medical reasons. In certain situations, you may have guaranteed emission rights (that is, the Medigap Plan issuer cannot refuse coverage, even if you already have existing condition).
SELECT plans of Medicare Supplements and exiting a State
Although you can generally maintain your Medigap insurance, some exceptions exist. Medicare SELECT plans are a distinct type of Medicare supplement plan that requires members to redeem provider networks for lower premiums. Therefore, if you leave the service area of your Medicare SELECT plan, you may need to find another plan.
If you have a Medicare SELECT plan and you are leaving the service area of the plan, you have some options:
You may be able to enroll in your current insurance company in a Medicare supplement plan that has the same or less coverage than your Medicare SELECT policy.
You can request a Medicare supplement plan up to 60 days before and within 63 days after the expiration of your current Medicare SELECT policy.