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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Updating Medicare and Social Security When You Move

I am moving to a different state so I can be near my family. Do I need to notify Social Security and Medicare about the move?

If you are a Social Security and Medicare recipient, you need to notify these federal agencies when and where you move so that there are no interruptions in your benefits or coverage. Here is what you should know.

Update Your Information

If you are receiving Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits, you should notify the Social Security Administration when you move to avoid disruptions of payments and to continue to receive timely information.

You will need to provide the Social Security Administration with your new mailing address so it can deliver important documents to you like your annual SSA-1099 tax form. If you are switching banks or credit unions, you must update your direct deposit information by providing your new financial institution's routing number and account number.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, Medicare also needs your new mailing address in order to send bills, correspondence, Medicare Summary Notices and other statements to the correct address.

You may update both your Social Security and Medicare contact information online by simply using the "My Profile" tab in your personal "my Social Security" account at If you do not have an account, you can create an online account for free. You can also update or change your direct deposit information on your "my Social Security" account.

If you need help or do not have internet access, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office.

Medicare Private Plans

If you are enrolled in original Medicare, you can move to anywhere within the United States without losing coverage. If, however, you have Part D prescription drug coverage or a Medicare Advantage plan from a private health insurance company and you move out of the plan's service area, you need to switch plans or risk losing coverage. Part D service areas are typically statewide, but some extend to parts of neighboring states. Medicare Advantage plans' service areas and options vary by county.

Moving out of a plan's service area qualifies you for a special enrollment period (SEP) which affords at least two months to obtain a new plan. You may also qualify for a SEP if you move within your plan's service area and the plan offers different options from what you had in your previous area. The enrollment timing depends on when you notify the plan.

If you notify your plan provider before you move, your opportunity to switch plans begins the month before your move and continues for two months after you move. If you notify your plan provider after your move, your chance to switch plans begins the month you informed your provider plus two more months.

To shop for new Part D and Medicare Advantage plans in your new area, use the Medicare Plan Finder tool at You can also switch Part D or Medicare Advantage plans during open enrollment, which runs each year from October 15 to December 7 for coverage starting January 1.

Medigap Plans

If you are enrolled in original Medicare and have a Medigap supplemental policy, you usually do not have to switch plans if you move. It is recommended, however, that you notify your provider. Some insurers let you keep the rate based on the state where you originally applied for Medigap. Others may change your premiums to coincide with their coverage in a different zip code. Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Minnesota have different standardized plans. If you are moving to or from one of these states, you may have to switch plans.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published March 29, 2024
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