I’m a Snowbird: How Is My Medicare Affected?
If you’re a snowbird on Medicare, there are a few things you need to know about how Medicare, Medigap plans, and Medicare Advantage work.
Since our winters can be pretty harsh here in central Illinois, a lot of our clients travel down south for the winter. While walking the beach in December can be pretty awesome, many individuals are concerned about how their Medicare coverage will be affected.
Snowbirds and Medicare Supplements
If you have or want a Medicare Supplement and plan on living in a different state for part of the year, you can rest assured that your coverage work in both places.
Can a Medicare Supplement Be Used In 2 States?
A Medicare Supplement, also called a Medigap plan, can be used in multiple states. It doesn’t matter which state you’re in – your benefits remain the same.
Does It Matter Which Type of Medicare Supplement I Have?
Every Medicare Supplement plan will work in multiple states – it doesn’t matter which particular plan you have. In general, we recommend Plans F and G for their comprehensive coverage, but all plans will work for snowbirds.
What Happens If I Travel Outside of the Country?
Medicare Supplements offer foreign travel coverage, which means if you travel abroad, you’ll have help if there’s a medical emergency.
Is There Any Advantage to Choosing Residence In One State Over Another?
There is definitely an advantage to choosing residence in Illinois versus a state like Florida.
If you’re technically a resident of Florida, and you purchase a Medicare Supplement with Florida rates, you’ll likely be paying twice as much for the same plan. If you’re a resident of Illinois, and you purchase a plan with Illinois rates, you’ll have the same coverage for half the price.
Snowbirds and Medicare Advantage
What if you’re a snowbird with Medicare Advantage? Whether you already have an MA plan or you’re interested in purchasing one, there are some major concerns you need to consider.
Can a Medicare Advantage Plan Be Used in Multiple States?
Medicare Advantage plans have networks. That means there is a set list of doctors you’re allowed to see. If you see a doctor that’s not in your network, you may have to pay a higher fee, or worse, your MA plan won’t pay for anything at all.
Sometimes, Medicare Advantage plans have networks that are limited to a single zip code, which means it would not work in multiple states. On the other hand, some plans offer features that allow members to receive limited in-network coverage in another state.
It really depends on the plan’s network, so before choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure that your preferred doctor in both states is part of your network. If not, you might end up paying for it.
Is Medicare Advantage the Best Option If I’m a Snowbird?
Medicare Advantage offers unique benefits, such as hearing, dental, and vision coverage, prescription drug coverage, and free gym memberships. However, because of the limited networks, it’s hard for us to recommend this type of plan to snowbirds or individuals that are always on the road.
Snowbirds and Medicare
When it comes to Original Medicare, does it matter if you live in two states throughout the year? Thankfully, it doesn’t.
If I Travel to Another State, Does Medicare Still Cover Me?
Original Medicare, or Medicare Parts A and B, will offer coverage across the country. As long as the doctor you see accepts Medicare assignment – and nearly all doctors do – you’ll receive coverage.
You can always ask the doctor if they accept Medicare before being seen to avoid any excess charges. Keep in mind that if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan F or G, that plan would pay for excess charges, meaning you could see any doctor you like.
If you have any other questions about how your health insurance works in multiple states, please contact one of our licensed agents.
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