How Does Medicare Change When You Move to Florida?

Recently, I’ve had more and more friends retiring to Florida. They all seem to want to know, how does Medicare change when they move to Florida? Here’s a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about retiring there – or if you’re planning on moving to a new state for retirement.

Medicare and Social Security are federal programs. You’ll receive the same benefits regardless of what state that you live in. Don’t confuse this with Medicaid which is very different in every state.

Private Medicare insurance prices are based on the state of your residency. If you have a Medicare Supplement, Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan and you retire to another state, you’ll most likely have to change your plans. The prices in Florida are typically more expensive if you chose to retire there, BUT, no state income tax!

Some Medicare Supplement plans won’t require you to change plans. All you’ll need to do is just call the insurance company and they will adjust your rates for the new state. Medicare Advantage plans can vary greatly from one state to another and you may get better benefits or reduced benefits, so don’t assume your plan will transfer and still be the best plan for you.

Typically, Florida has very rich plans as it is super popular with retirees. Medicare Advantage companies are very competitive in Florida, but it’s the opposite with Medicare Supplements. You’ll likely pay more. 

 

What About Moving While You’re On Social Security?

The amount of Social Security benefits you draw isn’t impacted by moving around the country. You can even live out of the country and continue to receive your Social Security checks in many western nations.

 

What If You Don’t Retire to Florida?

Recently, I was asked, “What if I remain a resident of Indiana but spend 6 months in Florida?” This is where it gets a little more complicated. Basically you are going to chose which state you want to be a resident of. Then you will report that address to Medicare. People think if they own real estate in one state, that must mean thet are a resident of that state. There are different indicators that can lead to you declaring one state as your residence over another.

Plenty of people own real estate in several states.Typically, for a state to be your primary residence you must live in that state for at least 6 months, register to vote and get your driver’s license in that state.

 

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You!

People have tried to play fast and loose with these residency rules and lie to Medicare about where they really spend most of the year. Don’t try to save a little money on your Medicare insurance premiums by telling the company you still reside in Indiana. If you late have a claim, they can deny the claim!

Before you move, contact your insurance specialist to get your plans adjusted before you arrive in your new home. A lady was moving to Florida last year and wanted to wait until she got settled into her new Florida condo before she changed her Medicare insurance. There is a grace period so you don’t have to do it before you move. Tragically, this client had a massive stroke the very day that she moved to Florida. I have a trove of sad stories like this which is why I urge you, if you are moving, take care of your insurance before you go.

 

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Sylvia Gordon and her sister, Rebecca, run Gordon Marketing, one of the nation’s largest Medicare FMO/NMA offices. They have a team of over 100 that train and support independent insurance agents in all 50 states. You can find Sylvia’s weekly posts on LinkedIn and the sisters' Youtube channel posts 2 training videos each week. Contact Sylvia at sgordon@gordonmarketing.com or 800-388-8342.

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