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5 things you need to know about Medicare when you are moving: If you are on Medicare and are considering a move, here are five things you need to know that can help.

  1. When you are moving be sure to Act Fast

When you change counties in California, you will lose your Medicare Advantage Plan (MAPD).  If you have one of these plans you might want to consider whether you want to get another one.

Changing counties and losing coverage means that you now have a choice, even if you are sick, to get a Medigap Plan (Medicare Supplement Insurance Policy).

A Medigap Plan allows you to see any doctor that accepts Medicare.  This is especially important if you are moving into an Assisted Living Community, or a Memory Care Community.  There are no networks and you don’t have to get authorization to see a specialist.

But even if you don’t want a Medigap Plan, you can get another Medicare Advantage Plan because you’ve lost coverage.

You only have about two months to get a new plan, so act fast.  If you don’t get a new plan within the specified time period, you may not be able to qualify for a Medigap plan due to your health status.

If you want an MAPD and you don’t get it within the specified time period, you’ll have to wait until the annual open enrollment period and your new coverage won’t go into affect until the following new year.

  1. When you are moving make sure you notify Social Security

Starting in 2018 and continuing until April 2019, Medicare will be issuing new cards to everyone in the USA who is on Medicare.

These new cards don’t cost anything, so be wary of anyone trying to scam you into paying for a new card.

But… in order to send you a new card, the Social Security office must know where you live.  So be sure and update your new address with Social Security.

  1. When you are moving to a Senior Community update your Power of Attorney.

Are you moving into a Senior Community?  If so, be sure and update your Power of Attorney.  This is also a good idea regardless of where you are moving to, but it’s especially true in Senior Communities.

It is pretty easy to do, and will help protect you if something happens and you are unable to speak for yourself.  Be sure to choose someone you trust, and consider getting the type of Power of Attorney that only kicks in if you are incapacitated.  Talk to an attorney about how these work.

One thing that a POA holder can do is update your Medicare insurance.  So if the POA holder believes that a different plan is more suited to your lifestyle in the Senior Community, he or she can help facilitate that change.

  1. When you are moving remember to Review your Medicare policy annually

In California, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan you can change policies within 30 days of your birthday to save money (the birthday rule).  If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan, these plans change yearly and should be reviewed every year during the open enrollment period.

  1. When you are moving be sure and talk with a qualified Medicare Insurance Broker

A broker works with more than one insurance company so they can be more unbiased than an agent, who only works for one company.

An agent can’t compare companies because that is typically a violation of their contract.

Additionally, working with an agent who specializes in Medicare Insurance will help make sure that you can get the plan that’s right for you, regardless of whether it’s Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement.

If an agent or broker steers you in one direction in your first meeting, he or she is probably biased and you may want to look elsewhere.  Get your policy well before the deadline to lessen your stress level.

For more information on Medicare, go to http://MedicareQuick.com/Class to watch free videos on Medicare subjects.  For personalized help, go to http://MedicareQuick.com or call 866-445-6693.  Kathe Kline is a Medicare Insurance Broker and can help you when you are moving or planning to move.