Becoming a Snowbird: What to Consider

Seniors who are considering a change of residence should consider the cost of medical insurance and the availability of Medicaid benefits.

For many seniors and retirees living in New York (and other northern states), the warm climates of, for example, Florida, Arizona or other southern states, may be appealing. Real estate developers have created numerous retirement communities to fulfill the needs and desires of these snow birds.

When considering the feasibility of changing their residence to another state, seniors and retirees are well advised to investigate the cost of medical insurance and the availability of Medicaid home care services.

Insurance premiums can vary widely from state to state. For some people with pre-existing conditions, coverage may not be available at all, or only in a state's high risk pool at very high rates.

In a few states - including New York - coverage cannot be denied and insurance companies must establish premiums without regard to age, gender, or health of the applicant. Also, NY Medicaid Benefits Medical Insurance has very generous Medicaid home care benefits that are unmatched by any other state.

Even though insurance premiums or the availability of Medicaid benefits may not be the controlling factors involved in their decision regarding whether to move to another state, seniors and retirees on a budget will want to be informed in advance about these considerations.

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