Do snowbirds need to worry about medicare coverage? Yes, they do. Medicare plans offer a wide range of health care services, including hospitalizations and doctor visits. However, there are some things that snowbirds may need to worry about when it comes to their Medicare coverage

Do Snowbirds Need to Worry About Medicare Coverage: Best Snowbird Health Insurance Coverage for Living in Two States

Snowbirds are Medicare beneficiaries that spend part of the year in another state or country. Because they are not permanently residing in one location, they may have questions about their Medicare coverage.

For example, they may wonder if their coverage will still be adequate if they leave the country for an extended period of time. The answer to this question depends on the specific Medicare plan the Snowbird is enrolled in.

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) has no geographical restrictions. As long as the Snowbird continues to pay their premiums, they will be covered no matter where they travel.

However, other Medicare plans, such as Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, may only be effective in certain states or regions.

Original Medicare and Medicare Part C, aka Medicare Advantage plan, provide health care services or supplies. Each of these health benefits has pros and cons, which Medicare beneficiaries must consider carefully.

Before making any changes to their travel plans, Snowbirds should check with their insurance company to ensure their coverage will not be interrupted.

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Original Medicare Provides more Coverage for Snowbirds Across the Nation

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance for people 65 or older, people under 65 with specific disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Snowbirds are people who travel to warmer climates during the winter months. This can include places like Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

People who live in a colder climate all year long are called “seasonal” residents.

Seasonal residents may receive Medicare coverage while living in a warmer climate as long as they meet specific requirements.

Why Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement (Medigap Plan) Works Best for Snowbirds

There are a few reasons why having both Original Medicare Part A and Part B with a Medigap plan may work best for people who travel frequently:

1. With Original Medicare and a Medigap plan, you can see any doctor or specialist that accepts Medicare patients, whether in the United States or abroad. There are no network restrictions like there are with some Medicare Advantage plans.

2. You can be covered for emergency medical care while traveling outside the United States. With Original Medicare, you’re only responsible for paying your Part B deductible ($233 in 2022) and 20% of the cost of covered services after that.

3. A Medigap plan can help cover some of the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t, such as your Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

4. You can keep your Medigap plan even if you move permanently to another state. If you have a Plan F or Plan G, you can keep it for life as long as you pay the premiums.

5. With a Medigap plan, there is no need to worry about your coverage being interrupted if you travel outside your home state for an extended period. As long as you continue to pay your premiums, your coverage will remain in effect.

If you are a Snowbird enrolled in Original Medicare, a Medicare supplement plan works alongside your health insurance coverage offered by Medicare. This means you keep all of the freedoms original Medicare offers and are fully covered to see a local doctor without needing an emergency to receive healthcare.

Does Medicare provide international health insurance coverage

How Original Medicare with Medigap Coverage Protects your Health while you Travel

Original Medicare with Medigap Coverage can be a great way to protect your health while you travel. 

This type of coverage can help cover the costs of medical care while you’re away from home, and it can also help you stay healthy by providing access to preventive care services. 

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, Medigap insurance Coverage can help you get the care you need while in one state or another.

As long as a provider accepts Medicare, you can receive coverage for your healthcare needs.

Foreign travel benefits are included with many Medicare supplement plans for those who travel outside the United States. While traveling internationally, medicare coverage may be reduced, so review your plan carefully.

Navigating Medicare coverage for those who qualify for Medicare should not be an impossible task. Reach out to one of our Medicare Insurance Agents for help.

How Original Medicare with Medigap Coverage saves you money on your Healthcare Costs

Original Medicare with Medigap Coverage can save you money on healthcare costs in several ways.

First, you will pay no deductibles or copayments for most services covered by Medicare.

In addition, Medigap Coverage provides extra protection against high out-of-pocket costs, such as those for hospitalizations or skilled nursing care. This can help you avoid financial difficulties in the event of a severe illness or injury.

Finally, Original Medicare with Medigap Coverage gives you the peace of mind of knowing you can receive the care you need when needed.

When you sign up for Medicare with a Medigap Plan C or Plan F, you can travel to another part of the country without the fear of receiving a bill.

How Medicare Advantage Coverage Works: Insurance for Snowbirds

Medicare Advantage plans offered by private Medicare insurance companies must follow the rules set by Medicare. These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare and typically provide additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, dental, and vision.

Medicare Advantage plans often have network restrictions, meaning you may only be able to see doctors and specialists in the plan’s network. If you are outside of your local city, county, or state, you may not be covered by your Medicare Advantage plan.

Before making changes to your travel plans, it’s essential to check with your insurance company to see if your coverage will be interrupted.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan:

Medicare Part D Coverage Options for Snowbirds Traveling to different states

When enrolling in a drug plan, you will use your home zip code and county to help guide your decision for the best possible fit. Each Part D plan has a network of pharmacies.

Preferred, standard, and out-of-network pharmacies vary with each plan.

If you visit a preferred pharmacy, you will pay the most cost-effective prices compared to standard pharmacies. If a pharmacy is out of network with your plan, you will pay for the entire cost and won’t have coverage.

Part D plans also have national coverage. For example, if Walgreens, Walmart, or Costco is one of your plan’s preferred or standard pharmacies, you can go to any Walmart in the U.S. and fill your prescription. This means you do not have to change your Part D plan when traveling to your second home.

However, you technically must reside in the “home residence” for at least half the year. If you don’t, you may have to pay the full cost of your prescriptions.

Do Original Medicare Benefits Change in Different States?

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there is no difference in Original Medicare benefits regardless of the state in which you reside or are visiting. More specifically, Part A and Part B coverage are the same nationwide. 

That’s because the federal government manages these programs.

Of course, there are other factors that can affect your Medicare coverage, such as whether you have a supplemental insurance policy. However, a Medigap plan only enhances original Medicare by making it better by closing the gaps.

But as far as the original Medicare benefits go, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the same coverage no matter which states you call home.

Finding the Best Medicare Coverage Options: Snowbird Health Insurance

Medicare Supplement Plans:

When enrolling in Medicare, Original Medicare with a Medigap plan provides Nationwide coverage for emergencies or coverage outside your healthcare plan network of doctors. Medigap Plan G is the number one choice among retired adults looking for full access to Medicare doctors who accept Medicare assignments.

Supplemental coverage offered by a Medigap plan provides the broad coverage you need to cover your out-of-pocket costs. Private health insurance companies offer these plans as long as you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

The Medicare Supplement is a fantastic option if you are looking for health insurance that offers comprehensive coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C):

Medicare Advantage PPO Plans

Medicare Advantage plans are by private Medicare-approved insurance companies.

The most popular type of Medicare Advantage plan for snowbirds is the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) network. These plans offer coverage and provide more flexibility than HMO plans, as you can typically see any doctor who accepts Medicare. You may also be able to receive care outside of your plan’s network, although you will likely pay more for services that are not in-network.

A Medicare Advantage PPO Plan may be your next best option if you cannot qualify for a Medigap plan.

Medicare Advantage HMO Plans

Medicare Advantage Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans may offer more affordable premiums than PPO and Medigap plans. However, you must see doctors in your plan’s in-network coverage.

HMO plans to offer smaller networks than PPO plans, reducing Medicare Beneficiaries’ overall benefits.

Sometimes, you may need a referral from your primary care doctor before seeing a specialist.

An HMO plan may not be the best option if you travel frequently or have a second home in a different state. When traveling outside your local doctors and medical facilities network, you will not have coverage through your Medicare Advantage HMO plan. Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for emergencies when traveling outside your local area.

Knowing if your health insurance plan will provide the needed out-of-network coverage or if your plan will cover more than emergencies is vital.

Ensure you review all available Medicare Advantage Plan to another, as Advantage plans may offer different levels of coverage.

Benefits of Medigap Plans

What are the Benefits of Original Medicare Coverage with a Medigap Policy for Snowbirds?

Benefits of Original Medicare coverage with a Medicare Supplement plan for snowbirds include:

  • No need to worry about medical bills not being covered while you’re out of town
  • Peace of mind knowing that you have insurance if something happens unexpectedly
  • Not having to pay extra fees when traveling outside your area due to health concerns
  • Freedom to see a local doctor or specialist while vacationing in a different state


You are simply covered for your medical needs. Those who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are unable to see a doctor or specialist while traveling unless it is a medical emergency.

This means your health is better managed with Original Medicare with a Medigap policy as you will not fear going to a doctor while vacationing in California.

Are there any Drawbacks to Medicare Coverage for Snowbirds?

There are some potential drawbacks to Medicare coverage for snowbirds.

  1. It can be more expensive than other insurance options because of the added benefits that snowbirds receive.
  2. If a person loses their Medicare coverage while they’re away on vacation, they may not be able to get back onto the program easily. (We always recommend automatic withdrawal to prevent a lapse in coverage)
  3. People who are eligible for Medicare should make sure they understand the program’s rules and regulations carefully before leaving for their winter holiday destination so that everything goes smoothly during their stay.

How can Snowbirds get the most out of their Medicare Coverage?

Snowbirds can get the most out of their Medicare coverage by understanding their options. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Medicare coverage, including how often you need to visit a doctor and whether or not you’re covered for certain treatments.

Snowbirds should also be aware of any special requirements that apply to them, such as needing proof of citizenship or residency.

There are many different ways to purchase Medicare insurance, so snowbirds should research the options available before making a decision.

Bonus Quotions for our Clients:

How Do I Enroll in Medicare?

If you’re 65 or older and receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). If you’re not receiving benefits, you can sign up for Medicare through the Social Security Administration. You can also sign up for just Medicare Part A or Part B during certain times of the year.

Best Medicare Plan For Snowbirds?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best Medicare plan for snowbirds will vary depending on each individual’s specific needs and circumstances. However, some factors that snowbirds should consider when choosing a Medicare plan include whether they plan to travel frequently or stay in one location for extended periods of time, whether they need coverage for medical emergencies or routine care, and whether they are looking for a plan with comprehensive benefits or one that is more affordable.

How Do I Buy Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage

There are a few ways to buy Medicare Part D coverage. You can sign up for a stand-alone Part D plan, which is offered by private insurance companies. You can also enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D coverage.

How to Find the Right Medicare Insurance Broker in Cathedral City

Do you Need Medicare Help Finding Plans Offered to Snowbirds?

Integrity Now Insurance Brokers is here to help you decide between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. 

As every Medicare need is different our Insurance Agents are here to sort through your healthcare goals and provide you with the appropriate health insurance coverage.

Contact our Medicare insurance agency, and we will provide you with a free Medicare plan review.