Medicare requires a permanent residential address. What do cruisers do?

Jul 16, 2021
5
Catalina Catalina 42 Mk II Kemah
My wife is stumped. That’s saying something because she spent 30 years managing a State Medicaid program for Aetna.

We’re going through the annual B.S. with Medicare’s open enrollment period. The question no one we’ve spoken with can answer is what to do about a permanent residential address, which Medicare requires.

Our mailing address is USGlobalMail - they scan our mail to PDFs and email them to us. That works fine and won’t change. But no one at Medicare knows how to deal with long term cruisers who live the transient lifestyle.

Anyone else deal with this issue? What have you discovered?
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,779
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Get a PO Box? I get mail from Medicare and my Medicare Supplement provider from time to time, albeit useless. Prefer their email communication.
 
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Apr 1, 2004
110
Catalina 34 Herring Bay Chesapeake, MD
My wife is stumped. That’s saying something because she spent 30 years managing a State Medicaid program for Aetna.

We’re going through the annual B.S. with Medicare’s open enrollment period. The question no one we’ve spoken with can answer is what to do about a permanent residential address, which Medicare requires.

Our mailing address is USGlobalMail - they scan our mail to PDFs and email them to us. That works fine and won’t change. But no one at Medicare knows how to deal with long term cruisers who live the transient lifestyle.

Anyone else deal with this issue? What have you discovered?
Same address that we use for voting (national), drivers license and taxes ( investments)

Good luvk
 
Jul 16, 2021
5
Catalina Catalina 42 Mk II Kemah
Get a PO Box? I get mail from Medicare and my Medicare Supplement provider from time to time, albeit useless. Prefer their email communication.
We use a mail forwarding service in Houston. It works as well as any of the others.

The problem is that Medicare requires a permanent residential address. They use the zipcode to determine premiums, co-pays, available services, drug plans, etc. They apparently don’t know how to handle long term cruisers or even RVers for that matter.

We’re still working out solutions. If we stumble on the right idea I’ll post it back here in case others have the same problem.
 

SFS

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Aug 18, 2015
1,973
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
Can you give them the address of a friend or relative not likely to move?

In the alternative, call your congressman and ask them for help. They need to know that some people are able to travel full-time, and that the Medicare folks are trying to penalize you for it. Medicare has the problem that needs a solution, not you.
 
Jul 16, 2021
5
Catalina Catalina 42 Mk II Kemah
Can you give them the address of a friend or relative not likely to move?

In the alternative, call your congressman and ask them for help. They need to know that some people are able to travel full-time, and that the Medicare folks are trying to penalize you for it. Medicare has the problem that needs a solution, not you.
Great idea! Thanks.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,839
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
St Brendan’s Isle mail forwarding company. They will help you establish Florida residency for all those things that require a permanent residence. We are currently using them although not for residency purposes
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,941
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Why not the address and box number of your home port Marina? I was only 10 to 14 at the time, but we lived aboard at a Marina. My parents got the public school bus to pick us up at the Marina. Certainly the Marina will have a mailing address and other live-aboards receive mail some how. I can't imagine the Medicare people care if its a house, just that it's permanent.

-Will
 
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SFS

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Aug 18, 2015
1,973
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
I think the problem in Medicare's mind is the triple test of "permanent" plus "residence" plus "address". Pick any two, and the issue is solved. But if your permanent residence is a boat that moves every day/week/month, what is the address? Additionally, I would suspect that once cruisers start cruising, they give up their slip at their home base. We sure did.

The folks at St. Brendan's Isle are very helpful, OP. But there was a stink raised by the county commissioners about 4 years ago as to whether or not using the service for mail was enough to establish residency, and by extension, voting rights. The county officials didn't like the notion of folks not domiciled in the county voting in elections that affected how county funds were spent, when they were not paying property taxes (either directly through home ownership or indirectly through marina fees). I don't know how that turned out.
 
Jul 16, 2021
5
Catalina Catalina 42 Mk II Kemah
Why not the address and box number of your home port Marina? I was only 10 to 14 at the time, but we lived aboard at a Marina. My parents got the public school bus to pick us up at the Marina. Certainly the Marina will have a mailing address and other live-aboard receive mail some how. I can't imagine the Medicare people care of its a house, just that it's permanent.

-Will
We don’t have a home port. We’re a few months here, a few weeks there, etc. We’re long term transient cruisers.
 
Feb 20, 2011
7,793
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
Not just Medicare. There's the IRS too.
I believe a @Maine Sail post a long while ago lamented this address requirement.

City hall and all.
 
Feb 14, 2014
5,708
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
There are Law Offices that perform that function. Plus sometimes a Full Service Bank.
Jim...
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,839
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
An SBI address will take the form of:

Your Name
411 Walnut St. #XXXXXX
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

Looks like an apartment address to computers.
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,585
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
If you don’t have children with a permanent address, maybe everyone can use our home in NH for a small fee. . I could support my sailing and drinking habits and you can vote first in the nation. Of course I would have to buy a larger mailbox and compensate the local mail carrier with a larger vehicle . Our neighbor, who forwards our mail, would need a sorting machine . I do believe there is an address company in South Dakota that will do the same for you.
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,282
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
If you don't actually live within the United States, you are not eligible for Medicare. So technically cruisers who sail around the world are not eligible. You would need to only sail within the United States to be eligible.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,839
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
If you don't actually live within the United States, you are not eligible for Medicare. So technically cruisers who sail around the world are not eligible. You would need to only sail within the United States to be eligible.
This is not quite accurate. Generally Medicare does not pay for medical care delivered outside of the US or its territories there are a few exceptions, see the link below. It does not matter where you live, only where the service is delivered.

Some Supplemental Medicare programs do offer out of country coverage. One requirement for these plans is that you have Medicare.

 
May 3, 2010
2
Tanzer 26 Porr
I'm in Canada. My brother has spent some time RVing and faced a similar problem. He rented a box at UPS and that provided a street address and Suite number. I suppose if the government ever looked closely enough they might determine the "suite" was a mailbox. I've never asked how items received were dealt with when he was not close enough to pick up.
 

PJL

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Apr 22, 2014
36
Hunter 42 Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
St. Brendan's Isle is a great company... that said, I use Traveling Mailbox. The reason: TM will copy up to 80 pages per month. They copy each page and make all available for download as PDF files. I am also cruising, out of country, on my sailboat. Was even able to set-up presedential voting using them. Took a bit of work, but and "mails" back and fourth, but it did happen.

The Medicare stuff is a bit different. Lots of variations depending on state and county. For example, one company that can be used through Medicare has different benefits for neighboring counties! For Medicare insurance it could be beneficial to use "someone's" address rather than your mailing address. As the ads say... 'Your mileage may vary'. HTH and happy to answer questions based upon my limited experience.

BTW, given that I am not in the US very often I am thinking of dropping the US stuff and finding something for Mexico. Looking for ideas on that!!