Discover the key considerations in choosing Medicare coverage, including costs, coverage rules, doctor choices, and travel coverage, among others. Plus, learn how to protect yourself from the Medicare COVID Test Scam, which involves fraudulent use of Medicare information for billing the government, and report any signs of illegal activity to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
What to Know About Medicare Before You Move
Before you move, research Medicare coverage options in your new location. Check whether your healthcare providers are covered, enroll in a new plan if necessary, update your address with the Social Security Administration, consider Medigap coverage, plan for prescription drug coverage, and be aware of enrollment periods. Consult with Medicare or a licensed insurance agent for accurate information.
Key Considerations of Medicare Coverage
When choosing Medicare coverage, you should consider:
Understand how other health or prescription drug coverage works with Medicare, and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or check whether your Medicare Advantage plan includes it. Consider doctor and hospital choices, as Original Medicare lets you use any Medicare-accepting doctor, while Medicare Advantage plans may require network providers. Consider care quality by examining plan and healthcare provider ratings and reviews. Finally, consider travel coverage, as Original Medicare generally doesn't cover care outside the U.S., and Medicare Advantage plans usually don't cover care outside the U.S. Review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) if in a Medicare plan.1
Protect Yourself From the Medicare COVID Test Scam
Law enforcement officials have revealed an alarming increase in complaints from Medicare beneficiaries receiving unwanted COVID-19 tests. This suggests that someone may be fraudulently using their Medicare information to bill the government, potentially leading to negative consequences for Medicare coverage or benefits for recipients.
New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella emphasizes that stealing taxpayer-funded resources from vulnerable individuals will not be tolerated in the state and that the state actively is collaborating with law enforcement to detect and disrupt this type of fraud. It’s crucial to report any signs of this illegal activity promptly, as experts warn that Medicare information can be as valuable to criminals as credit card or Social Security numbers. New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Jane Young acknowledges that the pandemic has provided fraudsters with numerous opportunities to exploit medical needs and services for personal gain. She urges individuals to protect themselves by not providing personal or medical information in exchange for free pandemic-related products, including test kits and vaccines. Medicare will not call and offer COVID-19 products. Anyone receiving unsolicited COVID-19 test kits or requests for their Medicare information is strongly encouraged to report it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.2
Aurora Borealis in Lofoten, Norway
January 1: Medicare General Enrollment Begins
January 1: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Begins
January 15: Medicare Advantage/Part D Rate Release
March 31: Medicare General Enrollment Ends
March 31: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Ends
April: Flu Season Ends
September: Private plans send notice if there will be any change in cost, coverage, or service area
October 15: Medicare Open Enrollment Period Begins
November: Flu season begins
November 6 (Estimated): Medicare Parts A & B Premiums & Deductibles Announced
December 7: Medicare Open Enrollment Ends
We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.