Medicare coverage doesn’t usually cover health care or health insurance when traveling outside of the U.S., however there are some exceptions. In some cases, Medicare Part B (Medicare Coverage) may pay for services you get on board a ship within the territorial waters adjoining the land areas of the U.S., however, Medicare will not pay for health care services you get when a ship is more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port.
Medicare and Travel Out of the Country
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage to individuals who are 65 years or older, as well as some younger individuals with certain disabilities. While Medicare provides comprehensive coverage within the United States, coverage can become more complicated when you travel outside of the country. In this article, we will explore how Medicare and Medicare Advantage works when you travel outside of the U.S. and what options you have for additional coverage and health care.
First, it is important to understand that Medicare generally does not provide coverage for care received outside of the United States, with a few exceptions. One exception is if you are traveling in Canada and require care that is urgently needed and cannot wait until you return to the United States. In this case, Medicare may provide medical coverage for the cost of the care.
Another exception is if you are on a cruise ship and need care while on board. In this case, Medicare may provide coverage for the cost of the care if the ship is in U.S. territorial waters or within 6 hours of a U.S. port.
If you plan to travel outside of the United States and want to ensure that you have coverage for any care you may need or emergency services, there are a few options available to you. One option is to purchase a travel health insurance policy. These policies can provide coverage for medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and other travel-related expenses. It is important to carefully review the policy to ensure that it covers your specific needs and that there are no exclusions or limitations that may affect your coverage.
What Are My Options?
Another option is to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans includes coverage forcare received outside of the United States. These plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are offered by private insurance companies and can provide additional benefits beyond what is covered by traditional Medicare. However, not all Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for care received outside of the United States, so it is important to carefully review the plan’s coverage before enrolling.
If you plan to travel outside the U. S. or to a foreign country and don’t have a foreign travel emergency coverage, but have a pre-existing medical condition, it is especially important to review your coverage options carefully. Some foreign travel emergency care or travel medical insurance policies or travel health insurance may exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions, while Medicare Advantage plans may have limitations or exclusions on coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Medicare Advantage plans may pay for inpatient hospital, doctor, and ambulant services you get in a foreign country in these rare cases:
- You’re in the U.S. when a medical emergency occurs, and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition.
- You’re traveling through Canada without unreasonable delay by the most direct route between Alaska and another U.S state when a medical emergency occurs, and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency.
- You live in the U.S. and the foreign hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition, regardless of whether an emergency exists.
So what is another option? Medigap!
Your Medigap policy may offer additional coverage for emergency health care services or supplies that you get outside of the U.S. Standard Medigap Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N provide foreign travel emergency health coverage when you travel outside the U.S.
If you have a Medigap Plan C, D, E, F, G, H, I J, M, or N, your plan:
- Covers foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip, and if Medicare doesn’t otherwise cover the care.
- Pays 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 yearly deductible.
Foreign travel emergency coverage with Medigap policies has a lifetime limit of $50,000.
Are you traveling outside the U.S. and not sure how Medicare works with your plan? Give us a call! Our expert agents are ready and waiting to discuss your coverage and options you have while traveling.
In conclusion, Medicare health insurance generally does not provide coverage for medical care received outside of the United States, with a few exceptions. If you plan to travel outside of the country and want to ensure that you have coverage for any medical care you may need, there are options available, such as purchasing a travel medical insurance policy or enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes coverage for care received outside of the United States. It is important to carefully review your options and ensure that the coverage you choose meets your specific needs and budget.
For more information or to speak directly with a Medicare Specialist, please email Michelle Tunis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (561) 665-7752.