Taking time to complete the simple task of filing a change of address with the post office, as well as the Social Security Administration, state agencies, utility companies and others, can help avoid complications from important mail not getting you.

“It’s important to change your address to be sure you receive important information,” said Carol Beahan, executive director of CLAIM, the Missouri State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) since 1993.

Beahan said the CLAIM office in Columbia often receives returned mail because the correct address for seniors and others seeking Medicare assistance was not on file. She can’t help but believe that the intended recipients probably aren’t getting their mail from Medicare (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service), the Social Security Administration and similar federal and state agencies.

Beahan emphasized the importance of family members or caregivers helping seniors and disabled individuals remember to file a change of address form with the post office.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offers, a quick list of change of address tips:

· You can visit your local post office to receive a mover’s guide, which includes the official change of address form.

· You can go to USPS.com/move to change your address online. The post office prefers the online method for speed and convenience, and the customer immediately receives an email confirming the change.

· You can ask the USPS to temporarily change your address or hold your mail. People and families that are traveling for extended periods of time often aren’t aware of the temporary forward or hold-mail option. The post office will forward mail up to 12 months for most mail, while magazines will be forwarded for up to 60 days.

Other federal and state agencies to contact when changing your address  :

· Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – especially if you are expecting a tax refund.

· Social Security Administration – if you receive Social Security benefits and/or Medicare.

· Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – if you are a veteran or family member.

· State motor vehicle agencies – to update your driver’s license and vehicle registration.

· State or county election offices – to change voter registration information.

· The Missouri Division of Family Services – for families receiving those services.

Change of address notifications should be filed at least 30 days before you move. Many bill statements have an area for making an address change notification.

CLAIM is a program of the Missouri Department of Insurance through a grant from the Administration for Community Living. Services are provided by Primaris Foundation. CLAIM is not connected or affiliated with any insurance company and does not sell or recommend any insurance. Claim provides helpful Medicare information. To ask questions or to learn more about Medicare benefits and eligibility and enrollment contact CLAIM at 1-800-390-3330 or visit www.missouriclaim.org. Individuals contacting CLAIM will be contacted by a trained counselor.

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