Medicare and Supplemental Coverage Eligibility If You Move Out of California

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  • If you are enrolled in Original Medicare and you move out of California (or to a different service area within the state), your Medicare benefits will not change.
  • If you also have a Medigap policy, it is guaranteed renewable, and the company must continue to renew it as long as you pay your premium. The insurance company can, however, change the premium you pay if you move to another state. Contact the insurance company for more information.
  • If you have a Medicare Select policy and you move out of the plan's service area, you must change your insurance coverage. You have the right to buy the Medigap plans A, B, C, or F that are sold in the state where you move. You can call the state insurance department in your new state to find out about Medigap policies sold in that state.
  • If you move within California but outside of the Medigap plan’s service area, you have the right to buy Medigap policies A, B, C, F, (including high deductible F), K or L from any company that sells them.
  • If you have a retiree plan, check with your benefits administrator to find out what will happen if you move out of state, or if you stay in California but move out of your plan’s service area.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (such as an HMO, PPO, Private-Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plan, or Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan), find out whether there is another Medicare Advantage plan in the state where you are moving. If there is one and it is accepting new members, you can enroll in the new plan. It will automatically disenroll you from your current Medicare Advantage plan in California. If there isn't an Advantage plan in the state where you are moving, or you don't want to join one, you can return to Original Medicare and you are guaranteed the right to buy the Medigap policies A, B, C, or F that are sold in the state where you are moving.
  • If you are moving within California but outside of your MA plan’s service area, you also have the right to enroll in a new MA plan or return to Original Medicare with the guaranteed right to buy Medigap policies A, B, C, F (including high deductible F, K or L).
  • If you are covered by Medi-Cal or a program for low-income people and you move out of state, apply for Medicaid in the state where you are moving.
  • If you have a Medicare Part D plan and move out of state or outside of the plan’s service area, you will have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) in which you can enroll in a new plan. But you must notify your plan that you are moving. If you notify your plan, your SEP begins the month before your move, includes the month of your move, and ends 2 months after you move for a total of 4 months.
  • If you notify your Part D plan more than 2 months after you move, you will not have a SEP. In this case, you will have to wait until the Annual Election Period from November 15 – December 31 to enroll in a new Part D plan with an effective date of January 1 of the following year. You may also incur a premium penalty of 1% for each month you are not enrolled in a plan.
  • If your plan learns from the Post Office or Medicare that you have been out of their service area for more than 6 months, the plan will contact you to verify your change of address and notify you of a SEP. In this case, you would have a SEP from the beginning of the 6th month and continuing through the end of the 8th month after your move.
  • If the plan cannot contact you to confirm your change of address within a 6-month period, the plan will disenroll you.

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Updated July 24, 2008

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