How Do You Change Your Address With Medicare?
Repeatedly updating your address is one of the most tedious parts of moving, but thankfully, a Medicare address change is easy. In general, all you need is your Social Security number, identification documents, and your new address.
Medicare and Social Security are separate entities, but Medicare receives enrollment and contact information from the Social Security Administration (SSA). A Medicare change of address must go through the SSA, even if you don’t receive Social Security benefits. You can do this in several ways:
- My Social Security Account
- Calling the Social Security Administration
- In-Person at a Local Social Security Office
- Calling Medicare Directly
- Medicare.gov Account
Keep in mind that a Medicare change of address must be completed separately from any other address changes, such as the IRS or USPS.
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The Importance of Keeping Your Info Updated
With the hassle of moving, you might be tempted to ignore this extra step. However, having an up-to-date Medicare address provides a few benefits.
Most importantly, the government needs an accurate mailing address to send documents such as a new or replacement Medicare card, notices, and statements. It’s crucial to receive these on time so you can receive care, pay bills, and check statements for accuracy. Medicare also sends an annual “Medicare and You” handbook explaining your medical benefits, rights, and costs.
If Medicare has an old mailing address on file, you run the risk of sensitive documents getting to the wrong person. If someone has access to your Medicare card, for example, they might commit Medicare fraud or identity theft.
Other than receiving communication, updating your official address ensures accurate health coverage at your new location. Moving won’t affect coverage for those with Original Medicare, but those with Medicare Advantage or Part D insurance may need to change plans. In that case, enrollees become eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to adjust their plan. It’s best to contact your insurer before moving to prevent any disruptions in coverage.
Updating Your Address Through My Social Security Account
Even if you don’t receive benefits from Social Security, you can update your address through a “my Social Security” account. This is the quickest way to update your correct address, as your account is available 24/7. Additionally, any changes should take effect immediately.
This option works for many people, but not everyone. Individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income can check their address through their “my Social Security Account”, but they can’t change it online. Changes must be made by contacting SSA directly.
Create a My Social Security Account
If you don’t have a my Social Security account, it’s fairly easy to create one. New account holders must log in using Login.gov or ID.me to verify their identity. To do this, you’ll need the following:
- An email address unique to you, not a shared account
- A cell phone number for verification
- Optional identity documents, such as a driver’s license or government ID
When creating an account with Login.gov or ID.me, you’ll be asked to enter your email address, create a password and select a method for two-factor authentication. Next, you must verify your identity by confirming your Social Security number, date of birth, and address. This information should match what the SSA has on file and will not update your address with Medicare. If you come across any issues, call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213.
Update Your Address
Once you’ve created an account, follow these steps to update your address:
- Log in to your account via www.ssa.gov/myaccount
- Select “My Profile”
- Select “Contact” to view your contact information
- Enter your new address
- Choose a date for the update to take effect
- Review and verify your information
- Select “Submit”
This immediately updates your address with Social Security, but it may take 7-14 days for the new address to show on your statements.
Updating Your Address by Calling the Social Security Administration
Individuals who receive Social Security benefits can update their address over the phone. Social Security customer service is available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in most United States time zones. You can reach the SSA office at 1-800-772-1213; TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
To avoid long wait times, try calling between 8-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Wait times are the shortest from Wednesday to Friday and later in the month. You can also call a local Social Security office instead of the national number, which may be faster.
During the call, you’ll hear an introductory message about Social Security. Then, an automated voice will ask what service you need. Reply “change address.” Next, you will be asked whether you receive benefits from Social Security. If yes, you will answer a few questions, including when you’d like the change to take effect. You can also say “agent” to speak with a representative.
Before changing your address, you must verify your identity. Have your Social Security number or card handy and the exact dollar amount of your last benefit payment. After the verification process, provide the representative with your new address. They will update your file immediately.
Updating Your Address In-Person at a Local Social Security Office
You can update your address at a local Social Security office if you’d rather speak to a representative directly. Use the Social Security office locator to find the closest location, its hours, and its phone number. The SSA recommends calling ahead to make an appointment; they cannot guarantee availability for walk-ins.
In general, offices are open Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Take note of any closures for federal holidays. Social Security offices tend to be busiest the day after a federal holiday, on Mondays, and the first week of the month.
Make sure to bring your Social Security card and identification, such as a driver’s license or government ID. If you call ahead to make an appointment, the representative can confirm if any further documents are needed. However, changing your address is usually straightforward. During your visit, the local office can print a confirmation of the change for your records.
Updating Your Address Through Your Medicare Account
You can update some contact information through Medicare directly, but the change will not transfer to Social Security. Therefore, this method is not recommended. Since Medicare receives your updated information from the SSA, the organization recommends only completing a Medicare address change once via your Social Security account.
Still, having a Medicare.gov account to shop for Medicare plans and view your costs, coverage, and claims is helpful. Follow these steps to create your account:
- Go to Medicare.gov
- Select “My Medicare.gov Login”
- Select “Create Account”
- Enter your personal information, including a valid email address, date of birth, and Medicare number
- Create a username and password
- Select “Submit”
With your account, you can access your contact information and use Medicare.gov‘s live chat feature to contact a representative anytime.
Updating Your Address by Calling Medicare Directly
To speak with a representative, contact Medicare support at 1-800-633-4227. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Services are available 24/7, except for some federal holidays.
Before you call, have your Medicare card or number ready. An automated voice will ask your reason for calling. Say, “Change address.” Once confirmed, you will be asked whether you’ve already updated your residential address with Social Security. Then, provide your Medicare number to receive further assistance.
Address Update for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medigap
Since private insurance companies offer supplemental Medicare plans, any changes must go through the insurer directly. If your insurer has an online portal, you may be able to update your address through your account. Otherwise, call the number on your insurance card to reach a representative.
Those with Medicare Advantage and Part D insurance should contact their providers before moving. If the new address is outside the plan’s service area, they become eligible for a SEP to choose a new one. Individuals with Medigap can typically keep their plan, but their premiums might change.
All in All
Even if moving won’t affect your insurance coverage, updating your contact information is important. Having an accurate address ensures you’ll receive essential documents about your enrollment, coverage, and costs.
Thankfully, Medicare makes this process relatively simple. Whether you update your information online, over the phone, or at a Social Security office, you only need your new address and Social Security number in most cases. If you’d rather talk to a representative, plan ahead and call on slower days or make an appointment at your local office. Taking a few minutes to update your address can save you from big headaches down the road.