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Medicare When Moving to California

When you're planning a move to California, you have to coordinate everything from finding a home to making sure your belongings are packed up safe and sound. One thing that many people forget to check is whether their existing Medicare coverage goes with them when they move to a new state. You don't want to add health insurance worries onto your plate during an already stressful time. Here's what you need to know about your Medicare plans when you move from out of state into California.


Medicare Part A and B - Original Medicare Plan

Medicare Part A and B are federal policies, so it doesn't matter where you move. You're still going to have this type of Medicare coverage.


Medicare Part C - Medicare Advantage Plans

The Medicare Advantage plans are where you'll experience the biggest changes during a move. Depending on where you're moving in California, Part C plans may not be available. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and you're moving to a California county that doesn't offer it, you will have the option to switch to Part A and B.


Medicare Part D - Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Part D plans operate on a state-specific level. You would not be able to transfer your existing Medicare Part D plan with you when you move to California. You would need to re-enroll during the special enrollment period that's triggered by your move for Medicare coverage California.


Medigap Policies

Your Medigap policy can move with you to California, but your premiums may go up. The amount you pay for Medigap is based on your location, so it could be significantly different. If you're unable to afford the payment, you can reach out to a Medicare insurance broker to see whether there are other options available in your area. While the premiums may be different for your policy, the benefits are standardized on a federal level.

The prices you pay in California are based on attained age, meaning how old you are currently. In general, you pay more as you get older. However, if you're under 65 and receiving Medicare coverage due to disability, you may have a higher cost for Medigap policies.


Who Do You Inform About Your Move to California

You would talk to your Medicare plan provider and let them know about your planned move to California. In an ideal situation, you would inform them prior to your move date. However, you do have the option of reaching out after your move, but this affects the time you have to enroll in a new plan.


How Long Do You Have to Enroll in New Medicare Coverage After Moving to California

You have up to four months to enroll in new Medicare coverage following your move, if you let your Medicare provider know before you leave. In this situation, you can enroll a month prior to the move date, and up to two months after the moving month. If you wait until you're already in California to start this process, you can enroll during the moving month, plus two months afterwards.

If you change your mind about your Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan outside of this special enrollment period, you need to wait until the annual election period, October 15 to December 7, to choose another option. This is also the time that you can add or remove your prescription drug plan. If you have Medicare Advantage, you have another enrollment period between January 1 and March 31.

Keeping your Medicare health insurance coverage during a move to California can be complicated, depending on your medical situation and the policies that you hold. Keep this guide on-hand when you start preparing to leave your current state, so you can get Medicare coverage in the state of California as soon as you're in your new home.