Did you know relocating to another city or state could have an impact on your Medicare benefits? Moving to a new location could place you outside of your coverage area. That means your options for physicians or medical facilities where you receive care could change.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to make changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan or your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan at any time, thanks to the Special Enrollment Periods or SEP.
What is a Special Enrollment Period?
A Special Enrollment Period or SEP is a two-month period that allows you to change, join, or drop your Medicare Advantage or Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Anytime you move to a new location or another qualifying life event occurs, you will get the chance to make changes during the SEP.
According to Medicare, your special enrollment period will start as soon as you notify your plan provider that you have moved. If you happen to tell your provider before you move, the SEP will begin the month before when you relocate and continue two full months after moving to your new location.
How do I Know if I am Eligible for a Moving SEP With Medicare?
Several circumstances will qualify you for a special enrollment period. If you have moved outside your plan’s coverage area, you can use the SEP to update your coverage with providers in your new city.
However, even if you haven’t moved outside of your coverage area, if your new location provides you with different coverage options, you will still have the chance to make changes to your coverage if you want. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to research the healthcare options in the town you are moving to. That will ensure you still have access to the healthcare services you need and inform you of any new services you may be interested in.
Even if you have recently moved back to the United States after living in a foreign country for a while, you can still enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and a Part D Drug plan thanks to the special enrollment period.
What am I Able to Change During the Medicare Special Enrollment Period?
If you qualify for a Medicare SEP for moving, there will be a few options available to you.
You can either:
⦁ Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
⦁ Change your current Medicare Advantage plan back to your Original Medicare plan
⦁ Or, you can drop or add a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan
Keep in mind that if you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes coverage for prescription drugs, you will not be able to enroll in a Part D plan. You can only do that if you enroll in an MA plan that doesn’t offer prescription coverage.
Understanding Special Circumstances SEPs
Determining if you are eligible for a SEP can be a confusing process, depending on your circumstances. While moving to a new location is considered the significant life changes that qualify for a SEP, several other instances would make you eligible for the particular enrollment period.
If you recently left your employer, had Part D coverage through a Medicare Cost Plan, and dropped it, or if you lost your coverage for any other reason, you could be eligible for a Special Circumstances SEP. You may also be eligible if your current plan alters its contract with Medicare if you qualify for Extra Help paying for your prescription drug coverage or eligible to apply for both Medicare and Medicaid.
To learn more about Medicare’s Special Enrollment Period and if you qualify, contact the experts at American Senior Benefits. Our team of professionals will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.