Whether you plan on traveling within the United States or abroad, it’s essential to know just how far your Medicare coverage will extend. Original Medicare covers your medical bills within the U.S. This includes Puerto Rico, America Somia, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and any other U.S. territories. For the most part, Medicare doesn’t provide coverage outside the U.S. unless it’s for an emergency. Below, we’ll discuss what Medicare plans include foreign travel emergency benefits.
Can I Use My Medicare in Another Country?
Under certain situations, Medicare will cover foreign travel emergency care.
These situations include:
- If you’re traveling on a cruise ship, you’ll have medical coverage as long as the ship is still in U.S. waters. This means the cruise ship must either be at a U.S. port, or within six hours from one.
- If you’re traveling between Alaska and another state, and the closest hospital is in Canada, then Medicare will cover emergency services while in Canada.
- If your residence is closer to a hospital outside U.S. territory, Medicare may cover non-emergency inpatient care at the closest hospital near your home.
Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Foreign Travel?
Medicare Supplement plans include additional benefits that will provide you foreign travel emergency coverage. Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M, and N all provide emergency coverage in foreign countries. Both high deductible plans under Plan F & Plan G also include coverage overseas.
Foreign Travel Emergency Coverage Overview:
- coverage carries a $250 deductible
- only have coverage for the first 60 days of your trip
- pays 80% of your medical bills while out of the country
- has a lifetime limit amount of $50,000.
As long as your health services are for emergencies, your Medigap plan will provide coverage. If you only have Original Medicare, without a supplement plan, you will not have coverage outside the U.S. is most cases.
Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover International Travel?
Several Advantage plans provide coverage for emergency health services outside of the U.S. Often, plans may place restrictions on specific health services. Your policy will need ample time to inform the carrier of your upcoming trip. At that time, they will explain how claims and reimbursement will work.
If you find yourself traveling outside your Advantage plan’s service locations for more than six months at a time, you may be disenrolled from the plan automatically. There are a few Medicare Advantage plans that offer exclusive benefits that may allow you to stay in your health plan even if you travel continuously for up to 12 months.
It’s always a good rule of thumb to check with your policy before any travel to determine what your limitations are.
How Does Medicare Work if You Live Overseas?
Medicare will not cover any medical services you receive overseas. You can still keep your Part A coverage if it’s premium-free for you. That way you have it if you come back to the U.S. If you do travel back to the U.S frequently, then you may want to continue paying the monthly premium for Part B. However, you will only be able to use those benefits in the United States territories.
Does Medicare Cover you on a Cruise Ship?
Part A and B usually cover any medical care that’s necessary while on a cruise ship, as long as the cruise ship is still within U.S. waters. The cruise ship will have to be within six hours of the nearest U.S. port. The treating physician must also legally be able to provide medical care onboard a vessel. If your cruise ship further than 6 hours out, you will not receive coverage from Original Medicare.
Where Can I Find a Medicare Travel Claim Form?
How to Understand Your Foreign Travel Medicare Benefits
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