Moving Costs? (1/2/2009)
Are you thinking about moving? Better check the costs and coverage of your health benefits. Both private health insurance and Medicare will have different costs and coverage depending upon where you live. If you have health problems, private health insurance may be difficult to obtain when you move.
Private health insurance is not “guaranteed” in the great majority of states. So if you have health problems it might be wise to check with the state insurance department to see if the state you are moving to has a high-risk pool for people who cannot buy insurance because of health problems. About 30 states have high risk pools but the premium payment can be twice as much as the prevailing rates.
There are very few web sites that give you information on private health insurance. To get a decent comparison try www.ehealthinsurance.com. Also go to www.LongevityAlliance.com for a booklet you can download regarding moving and healthcare costs.
Moving under Medicare can be costly as well. Medicare supplemental plans can vary by $1,500 a year depending on where you live. Go to www.medicare.gov and study the types of coverage are available and compare supplemental packages by zip code.
Lastly, be aware that Medicare does not cover all procedures in all states. Medicare leaves the decisions for coverage to the 15 contractors it uses to administer the program from region to region. Under Medicare you can get a procedure in one state and not in an adjoining state. A recent article in the New York Times pointed out that the new CyberKnife procedure will be covered by Medicare in 33 states but not in 17 others.
Geography counts. All healthcare is local, so familiarize yourself with the consequences of moving and understand the healthcare costs associated with a move. Those costs could turn out to be just as costly as housing if you are not careful and plan well.