Can I Take my Medigap Plan When I Move?
Medicare Benefits Solutions
May 2, 2019
Medigap, also known as Medicare Supplement insurance, is coverage that can help offset certain out-of-pocket costs incurred under Original Medicare. Medigap policies must comply with federal law in terms of consumer protection rights and minimum coverage requirements. However, Medicare Supplement insurance is regulated by the states. If you are enrolled in Medigap and relocate to a different state, there are some things you should know.
Retaining the same Medigap plan
Medigap policies are standardized across states. In most states, the plans are identified by letters: A through D, F, G, and K through N. All these plans provide the same basic benefits, and some include extra benefits. When you have an interstate move, the benefits of your plan will not change. For example, if you have Plan A in your departure state, you can expect the same Plan A provisions in your destination state.
Generally, as long as you retain Original Medicare, you should be able to hang on to your active Medigap plan. However, premiums vary from one state to another for the same plan. Also, Medigap is sold through private insurance companies, and each company has decision-making authority over which plans it chooses to sell, a decision that may be impacted by state laws. The carriers are not required to offer every supplement plan.
Plans C and F are no longer available to people who enrolled in Original Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. But if you already have one of these plans, you may keep it.
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Changing Medigap plans
Before you move, contact your insurance company to inquire about keeping your plan and what it will cost in your new destination. If your new premium is cost prohibitive, ask your insurance agent about options for a different Medigap policy. If your Medigap Open Enrollment Period has ended, you may have to go through medical underwriting and answer questions about your health condition. Open enrollment for Medigap is the six-month period that begins when you turn 65 and you are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
In certain states, you may have the ability to purchase a network-based Medigap policy named Medicare SELECT. If you buy this policy, you will have 12 months to change to a standard Medigap policy should you change your mind. If you are already enrolled in Medicare SELECT and move to a state where this is not offered, you have the option to purchase a standardized plan if it offers the same or less benefits than the Medicare SELECT policy you hold. If you joined your Medical SELECT plan more than six months ago, you will not be required to answer health-related questions.
States with a different standardization
Moving to or from Massachusetts, Wisconsin or Minnesota will have a bigger impact because the Medigap plans are standardized differently in those states. Massachusetts plans are Core, Supplement 1 and Supplement 1A. Wisconsin offers basic, cost-sharing and high-deductible plans. Minnesota has basic and extended basic plans.
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