Will you need to change Medicare plans when you relocate to Delaware?
Curious about what Medicare options you will have in Delaware if you relocate from out of state? Are you going to have to make changes to your current plan once you get here? Kathy interviews local Medicare expert Jerry O’Neill who discusses this and more in this Ask The Broker video.
Kathy: Welcome to the next Ask the Broker segment. And today we’re going to talk about Medicare. We’re going to talk specifically about Medicare options here in Delaware. And with us today is Jerry O’Neill. And Jerry O’Neill is a broker that actually has access to any Medicare plan that’s available in Delaware.
Jerry O’Neill: Well, I’m appointed with several different insurance companies here in Delaware. I’ve gone through all the certifications, and been appointed by them, so I can write any business. It doesn’t matter to me. I just select whatever product works best for the customer.
Kathy: And when I became eligible for Medicare, I said, “I have a business to run, I’m going to call Jerry.” So I did. And why I wanted Jerry to be here today is, so many of our clients are coming from out of state. And Jerry, they have questions. Let’s say they have already qualified for Medicare, and they’re on a specific Medicare Advantage plan, perhaps. One of the questions is can I get a Medicare Advantage plan in Delaware?
Jerry O’Neill: Yeah, we find that often where people are moving from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, anywhere in the country, and they might have a Medicare Advantage plan. Well, if that plan that their current state they’re in is not available in Delaware, then they’re going to have to switch plans. And often they’ll come to me and say, “What plans are available in Delaware?” And there are three Medicare Advantage plans available in Delaware. And I represent all three of them, and one might be better than the other based upon the individual needs.
Kathy: And you said there’s also a special time period?
Jerry O’Neill: Yeah, it’s calla a Special Election Period. When you move from your current primary residence, to a new home, in particular in Delaware, then you’re granted a Special Election Period. Which allows you to make changes to your Medicare coverage.
Jerry O’Neill: Again, if the Medicare Advantage plan is available in Delaware, that was in your home state, then you really don’t need to do anything. But you should assess, what are the differences and the changes between your home States Medicare Advantage plans, and your current, new home, Delaware Medicare Advantage plan.
Jerry O’Neill: Also, I might note there’s something known during the Special Election Period, if your Medicare advantage plan is not available in Delaware. So if you had a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan from New Jersey, Blue Cross doesn’t offer that in Delaware, you are afforded the opportunity of what’s known as a guaranteed-issue on a supplement. If you chose to take that route, you could take advantage of that.
Kathy: So they will have choices?
Jerry O’Neill: There will be choices during this Special Election Period.
Kathy: How long is that Special Election Period?
Jerry O’Neill: That’s 60 days, I believe is the… From the date of the move. So you’re going to notify Medicare that you’re moving. Either by notifying Social Security, that you’ve made a move, and Medicare, and your plan. And they will then generate a letter stating that your plan is going to be discontinued as of this date as a result of your move.
Jerry O’Neill: So then you have ample opportunity. You make a choice as to what you want to do at that point. I might note also that if you had a drug plan, and most people do when they go on Medicare.
Kathy: Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.
Jerry O’Neill: They either get a-
Kathy: A Part D.
Jerry O’Neill: Correct, Part D. They either get a supplement and a drug plan, or they get Medicare Advantage. One of those two. So if you had the supplement and the drug plan and you’re moving to Delaware, you’re most likely going to have to change your drug plans, because they want it to be in the state of which you reside.
Jerry O’Neill: And there are 28 different drug plans in the state of Delaware, so…
Kathy: That’s pretty good.
Jerry O’Neill: It is.
Kathy: Sometimes, our fortunate buyers are actually retiring and relocating before they’re even eligible. Before they’re even 65. So you made a good point. We were talking earlier that the first step is you actually register with Social Security.
Jerry O’Neill: Yeah, you should have a… Most people should set up a my account on the Social Security Administration website. And I help people do that. That establishes your presence. And you can do a lot of other things there too, like look at what your retirement income would be if you accept Social Security at early retirement, or full retirement.
Kathy: And making that decision.
Jerry O’Neill: That’s another decision.
Kathy: What age are you going to start is something, so…
Jerry O’Neill: And a lot of people get Social Security confused with Medicare. They’re two separate things. They’re two separate items. Because you can delay your Social Security. So if you delayed your Social Security, you’re not going to automatically be enrolled in Medicare. So if I’m 64, and nine months old, and I’m not accepting Social Security, I’m going to have to go out and sign up for Medicare Part B.
Kathy: That’s a really good point. So there’s nothing that will happen automatically if you’ve decided to defer-
Jerry O’Neill: That is correct.
Kathy: … the beginning of your social security. So to summarize a couple of key things when somebody relocating, what would you say, steps one, two and three, in the planning?
Jerry O’Neill: Well first of all, you’ve got to make sure your Medicare is in effect. And if you’re new to Medicare, you got to make the arrangements to make sure your Medicare Part B is going to be effective when you turn 65. And in most cases, except for permanent disability Medicare people were recipients, their Medicare becomes effective on the first day of the month in which they turn 65. So if you’re turning 65 on December 25th, happy… Merry Christmas.
Kathy: Merry Christmas.
Jerry O’Neill: It’s going to be December 1st as your start date.
Jerry O’Neill: It retroactively goes back to the first of the month. So you have a 90 day period prior to that to make these selections about whether I’m going to go with a Medicare Advantage plan, or I’m going to go with a Supplement plan. And supplements, they range everywhere from United Healthcare to Blue Cross to Transamerica, to American National, to companies that you’ve probably never heard of.
Kathy: Now you can see…
Jerry O’Neill: But I represent them all.
Kathy: You can see why I recommend working with Jerry, or somebody like Jerry that can really advise you. Because there’s a lot, just the paperwork alone that you get.
Jerry O’Neill: Yeah, it can be overwhelming.
Kathy: It’s overwhelming. So you know how I feel about real estate. You should work with an expert. Well, I feel the same way about making decisions about your healthcare and your Medicare, with somebody like Jerry.
Jerry O’Neill: Yes. It’s local knowledge. Just like you need a realtor who’s local-
Jerry O’Neill: That know the marketplace, and assesses your needs, and serves you. The same holds true for Medicare. Because, a lot of people call these 800 numbers, and they don’t know the local marketplace. They don’t know the Medicare Advantage plans available. I’m local here in Sussex County, I work the entire County. So if you have questions you feel free to call me and…
Kathy: We’ll have Jerry’s contact information in the section on YouTube. Thank you very much, sir.
Jerry O’Neill: Kathy, good seeing you.
Jerry O’Neill: And I look forward to hearing from your customers.
Kathy: Hope you found this informative and we look forward to seeing you.
Jerry O’Neill: Thank you.
Find your place to retire in Delaware by requesting our FREE Relocation guide here: http://bit.ly/2z3YcQh