What Happens to Your Medicare if You Move?

You might be able to keep your Medicare plan when you move, but it depends on your coverage.

If you have a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, you'll need new coverage if you move far from where you live now. But if you just have Medicare Parts A and B, also called Original Medicare, or a Medicare Supplement plan, you probably just need to change your address.

Review Medicare plan options with licensed insurance agents near you

Moving with Medicare

Moving with Original Medicare

Original Medicare stays the same no matter where you move in the U.S.

If you just have Original Medicare — Part A and Part B — you just need to update your address with the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board.

The easiest way to complete a Medicare change of address is in your online Social Security account. You can change your address under the "My Profile" section.


Original Medicare doesn't have a network like other health insurance plans. You can go to any doctor or hospital as long as they take Medicare (and most do) no matter where you are in the U.S. But you still need to update your address when you move so that you get bills for the health care costs Medicare doesn't pay.

If you need help finding a new doctor that takes Medicare after your move, you can use the Medicare Physician Compare tool.

Moving with a Medicare Supplement plan

You can keep your Medicare Supplement plan when you move.

You don't have to make any changes other than updating your address with your Medigap company. That's true even if you couldn't buy your existing plan in your state. Once you've purchased it, it follows you no matter where you move in the country.

But if you want to change to a new plan, you might be able to, depending on state laws. If you want to change, you'll be limited to the companies and plans available in your new area.

The price of your Medicare Supplement plan, also called a Medigap plan, might change when you move. That's because each state sets Medigap rates differently. So the plan that fits your budget at your old home might not be the best option when you move.


Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have their own Medigap plans that differ from the plans in the rest of the country. But even if you move to or from one of these states, you can keep your existing Medicare Supplement plan.

If you switch to a new Medigap plan after you move to a new state, you may pay more. If you bought your Medigap plan when you were first eligible, the insurance company didn't take any health issues into account when setting your rate. Once you're older, though, companies can often charge you higher rates based on your medical history.

Moving with a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D plan

If you have a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, you need new coverage if you move out of your plan's service area.

Each plan sets its own service area, so you'll need to check with your company before you move. You might only need to change if you move to a new city or state.

No matter how far you move, though, you need to update your address with your insurance company. Medicare Advantage and Part D plans have doctor networks. If you move locally, you might be able to keep your plan since you'll likely still be close to the doctors and hospitals that are covered.

But if you move to another part of your state or to another state, you'll probably need to get a new plan. If you move away from the doctors that your plan covers, you might not be able to find covered medical care close to you.

Moving lets you get a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan outside of the normal enrollment window. When you move, you qualify to change plans, if you want. This is called a special enrollment period.

The steps you take when you move with a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan depend on your situation.

Moving within your plan's area

If you move locally, you can probably keep your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. But if you have different plan options in your new area, you can change plans if you want to.

Moving to a new location outside your plan's area

If your plan doesn't cover doctors and hospitals in your new location, you'll need to switch Medicare Advantage or Part D plans, or return to Original Medicare.

No matter if you move locally or into a new area entirely, you need to tell your Medicare Advantage or Part D company about your move.

If you tell your company before you move, you can switch plans starting the month before your move and during the two months after your move.

If you tell your company after you move, you can switch plans during that month or during the two following months.

Moving into or out of a care facility

If you're moving into or out of a skilled nursing or long-term care facility, you can keep your current Medicare plan if you want to. But moving does give you a few options, if you want to make a change.

  • Buy a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan
  • Switch to a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan
  • Stop your Medicare Advantage coverage and go back to Original Medicare
  • Stop your Medicare Part D plan coverage

You have these options for as long as you're in a care facility and for two full months after you leave.

Can I keep Medicare if I move to another country?

Your health care won't be covered if you move to another country, but you can keep your Medicare plan active.

The main reason to keep Original Medicare coverage active is to make it easier to get medical care if you're back in the U.S. You can also keep your Medigap plan if you move to another country, although you probably won't have much coverage abroad. You won't be able to buy or keep a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan if you move to another country.

Since Medicare doesn't cover your health care in other countries, you may want to switch to a cheaper plan the next time you're eligible. You can switch plans during one of the open enrollment periods, or if you qualify to switch outside of those times.

If you don't plan to return to the U.S., you can cancel your Medicare enrollment. If you cancel your Medicare completely and want to rejoin later, you'll need to apply during the Medicare general enrollment, between January and March of each year. Your Medicare will start the month after you sign up, and you'll pay a higher rate than you would have if you'd kept Medicare all along.

Returning to the U.S.

If you keep Original Medicare while living outside the U.S., you'll be able to rejoin a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D plan when you return to the U.S. You also have the option to keep Original Medicare.

You have two full months after you move back to the U.S. to apply for Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D. For example, if you move on June 15, you have the rest of June, plus all of July and August to enroll in a plan.

Frequently asked questions

Can I update my Medicare address online?

Yes, you can change your Medicare address online through the Social Security Administration. Log into your Social Security account and select the "My Profile" tab to update your address and other personal info.

Do I need to notify Medicare if I move?

Yes, you need to tell Medicare when you move, no matter what type of Medicare plan you have. You need to update your address with the Social Security Administration to change your Original Medicare. If you have a Medigap, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan, you need to call your insurance company as well.

How long do I have to change my Medicare plan after I move?

You usually have about three months to change Medicare Advantage or Part D plans after you move, but it depends on when you tell your insurance company about your address change. If you have Original Medicare, you don't need to change plans at all. And if you have a Medigap plan, you might be able to change plans after a move, but it depends on your company and state laws.


The rules and requirements for changing Medicare plans when you move are from Medicare.gov and CMS.gov.

ValuePenguin.com is owned and operated by LendingTree, LLC ("LendingTree"). All rights reserved.

Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a separate subsidiary of QuoteWizard, LLC ("QuoteWizard"), a LendingTree subsidiary, or through its designated agents, only where licensed and appointed. Licensing information for QWIS can be found here. QWIS is a non-government licensed health insurance agency. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

Callers will be directed to a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Supplement insurance and/or Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations. Calls will be routed to a licensed insurance agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more nationally recognized insurance companies. Each of the organizations they represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

Availability of benefits and plans varies by carrier and location and may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 73 organizations which offer 5,110 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.

These numbers provided are not specific to your area, but rather represent the number of organizations and the number of products available on a national basis. We will connect you with licensed insurance agents who can provide information about the number of organizations they represent and the number of products they offer in your service area. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits may vary by carrier and location.

Deductibles, copays, coinsurance, limitations, and exclusions may apply.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website. Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system every year.


Editorial Note: We are committed to providing accurate content that helps you make informed financial decisions. Our partners have not endorsed or commissioned this content.