Many Medicare beneficiaries decide to have residences in more than one place. They could be “snowbirds” fleeing south in the winter to avoid the cold and traveling north in the summer to avoid the heat.

Some just want residences close to their kids or grandkids, while others live the RV life. Whatever the reason, some Medicare beneficiaries enjoy dual residency in more than one state.

How Does Medicare Work If You Live In Two States?

When you’re on Medicare, one state must be listed as primary, and it should be the state you spend the most time in. You’ll realize that some states have more advantages or even stronger coverage, or lower costs for your Medicare options.

The most common situation for Medicare beneficiaries is snowbirds. Typically snowbirds have a home in a Northern state such as Connecticut and another home in the south that’s warm most of the year, like Florida.

When you’re in different areas for extended periods, worrying about your health coverage isn’t something you want to deal with or think about.

What Are The Residency Requirements For Medicare?

Medicare enrollment is completed in the state that’s your primary address. Medicare requires that your primary address is by the state you live in for most of the year. You’ll have your driver’s license, voter registration, and taxes applied for this state.

You’ll be able to see any provider that accepts Medicare nationwide with Original Medicare.

Dual Residency and Medicare options

Medicare has a few different ways that you can be covered. We’ll discuss how each way will work with dual residency to see which will fit your needs.

Dual Residency and Original Medicare

When you’re on Original Medicare, you can visit any healthcare provider nationwide that participates in Medicare. This is about 97% of healthcare providers. There’s no worry about finding someone that takes Original Medicare.

Remember that Medicare does have large holes, and you may want to have coverage that can assist with your out-of-pocket expenses.

Dual Residency and Medicare Drug Coverage

Medicare Drug coverage is covered in one of two ways. A Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan will include drug coverage in many cases.

It’s essential to verify that your plan has a nationwide pharmacy network or at the very least has network pharmacies in the areas you reside. This way, you have access to pharmacies to provide your prescriptions.

Dual Residency and Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is another way to get your Medicare benefits. Suppose you travel for extended periods or live in two different states. In that case, you may want to look at a PPO or PFFS Medicare Advantage plan.

Some PPO plans have a suitcase program that allows you to see providers in other states as in-network providers. A PPO Medicare Advantage will also provide coverage if you need out-of-network services or providers.

Dual Residency and Medicare Supplement Plans

Medigap plans are among the most common for beneficiaries with dual residency. Since a Medigap plan is an additional plan to supplement Medicare, you can still see any healthcare provider nationwide that takes Medicare.

With a Medigap plan, the coverage will be the same no matter where you are in the United States. A few Medigap plans have an out-of-the-country travel benefit with a $ 50,000-lifetime cap if you travel out of the country.

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement makes things simple, hassle-free, and gives peace of mind as you are traveling.

Do You Have To Change Medicare If You Move To Another State?

The only constant in life changes, and as you settle into retirement, your primary residence may end up changing. Depending on your chosen coverage, changing your plan may or may not be necessary.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are available in specific service areas. If your primary state of residency changes, you’ll need to select a plan in the new location.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D plans vary from state to state. Like the advantage plans, you will need to pick up a new Part D plan in your new state.

Medicare Supplement

Medigap plans are nationwide coverage, and in most cases, the plan will travel with you to your new area. Keep in mind that all areas have different costs for the same Medicare Supplement plan letters. Changing to another Medigap plan or company could be less expensive in your new state.

It’s also important to note that your Medigap will adjust to the new area’s price over time, so if you are paying less, the costs are in your new location. It will slowly creep up in price until it is on par with the others in the area.

FAQs

Does Medicare cost the same in every state?

It depends on which part of Medicare you’re referring to. Part A & Part B do have the same monthly premiums for every state. However, Part C, Part D, and Medigap plan costs vary from state to state.

Does dual residency apply for Medicare if I have a residence in another country?

No. Having a residence in another country is not considered the same as dual residency for Medicare. However, when you travel outside of the country, Medicare’s reach is very limited.

Can Medicare be used in different states?

Yes. Part A & Part B can be used in different states along with Medigap. However, Medicare Advantage plans have limits on how far their coverage extends. Some will not extend coverage outside your county.

Do any Medicare Advantage plans cover multiple states?

Some. Medicare Advantage plans have regional networks, and some have suitcase programs. Both could allow for out-of-state coverage.

What happens to my Medicare Supplement if I move out of state?

In most cases, you can keep your Medicare Supplement when moving to another state. If you’re healthy, it would be wise to see if your new state has better rates, and if so, it may be wise to enroll in a plan in the new state.

Get Help With Your Dual Residency Options Under Medicare

If you have dual residency and travel a lot as a result, making sure you’re fully covered is a must. So if you think you need more than what Original Medicare has to offer, you’ve come to the right place!

Our licensed insurance agents can easily and fully go over your options for Medicare Supplemental and Medicare Advantage plans. Their wealth of knowledge will help answer all of your questions and pinpoint the exact coverage needed for your individual situation. The great part about their assistance is it’s absolutely free to you, with no obligation!

We’re here to help. Give us a call today or fill out our online request form to get the best rates for you in your area.

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by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.