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.
Does Medicare Cover Foreign Travel Emergencies
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
Does Medicare Cover you on a Cruise Ship?
Where Can I Find a Medicare Travel Claim Form?”
Since foreign doctors, facilities, and emergency services will not submit your Medicare claims; you’ll need to file your claim form. You can send your patient request for a medical payment form to the address listed on the instructions of your form.