Original Medicare’s travel health coverage varies from extensive to non-existent. There are a few options to cover you when you’re traveling in and out of the U.S.
1) Medicare’s Travel Coverage Varies
Medicare has the widest network of doctors within in the United States, therefore you will be covered anywhere you travel in the U.S., as long as the doctor or hospital accepts Medicare.
In most cases, however, Original Medicare will not cover any foreign health emergency outside of the U.S. and its territories, including cruising.
According to the US Passport office, “Medicare does NOT cover health care overseas. We highly recommend that you obtain health insurance to cover emergency medical and dental treatment and for medical evacuation to the United States.”
2) Travel Insurance May Not Cover Pre-Existing Conditions
3rd party travel insurance is an option for anyone that wants to add coverage at the last minute. This travel insurance does not always cover pre-existing conditions and can be rather tricky when it does.
First, you have to be medically stable and able to travel at the time of purchase, as well as, at the time of travel. On top of this, travel insurance can be very expensive, sometimes up to 11% of your total trip cost.
One final warning, if you don’t estimate your trip cost properly they don’t have to cover your preexisting condition either.
3) Medicare Advantage May Not Cover Emergencies Outside the U.S.
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans often have a small network of doctors and hospitals. Therefore if you are traveling outside of your home state/network you most likely will not be not covered in the U.S. for non-emergency services. Most MA plans, however, have some provisions for emergency coverage when you inside the United States but outside your MA service area.
There are even some MA plans may cover you if you have emergency while traveling outside the U.S. It is important to remember that Medicare Advantage plans are not standardized, so you will have research this before choosing a plan.
Go here to see a Medicare Advantage Overview.
4) Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) MAY cover Foreign Emergency Care
Medigap has the same network of doctors and hospitals in the U.S., therefore you can travel anywhere within the States and your coverage is the same. As for emergency care when traveling outside of the country, 7 out of the 11 standardized Medigap plans cover foreign emergencies and health services.
Medigap Plan F and Plan G are the most popular plans by pfar and both will cover up to 50k in foreign medical bills (as long as it is within the first 60 days of your departure.) Click here for a Medigap quote.
To learn more about protecting yourself against medical emergency costs while traveling beyond the U.S. borders call 800-930-7956 or contact Senior65.
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