Did you know that Original Medicare doesn’t usually cover you when you are outside the U.S. (including cruises!)? This is where a Medigap plan can help out!

Does Medigap’s Foreign Emergency Care benefit cover cruises?

This is one of the most important questions. With 10% of baby boomers and 19% of seniors (72 and older) cruising each year (Source), cruising is one of the top travel activities for Medicare beneficiaries. Most of us don’t think when we embark in Miami or San Francisco that we are “out of the country”, but you’ll spend a lot of your time in international waters. And, Medicare does not have you covered.

Medigap, on the other hand, does cover have you covered on your cruise. If cruising or travel is important to you (even Canada and Mexico count, folks!), you will want to get a Medigap plan with a foreign travel healthcare benefit.

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Which Medigap Plans offer Foreign Emergency Care?

With so many Medicare beneficiaries traveling each year, it’s important to find out which plans offer the benefit of foreign emergency healthcare. The following are the current available plans with Foreign Emergency Care:

Foreign Emergency Healthcare Medigap plans: Qualified before 2020

For those who became Medicare Part B-eligible before January 1, 2020, you can enroll in ALL the above plans plus the following (both cover the Original Medicare Part B deductible):

Medigap Foreign Travel Coverage Rules

Medigap foreign emergency travel rules are pretty straightforward. Unlike many traditional stand-alone travel insurance plans that require health approval when you purchase the plan and right before you travel.

Medigap Foreign Travel Healthcare doesn’t care if you’re sick before you get on that plane. You’re still covered! Once you’re enrolled in your plan, you’re all set. Just follow the simple rules and off you go!

Medigap Foreign Healthcare rules breakdown:

  • $250 foreign travel deductible
  • You pay 20% of your medical costs
  • Medigap covers up to $50k over a lifetime
  • Emergency must happen within first 60 days of your trip
  • Could have a Medigap 6-month waiting period on preexisting conditions. This applies if you did not have creditable health coverage in the past 6 months (varies by company)

Public Service Announcement: Maybe don’t travel while when you’re sick. We all saw what happened last time!

What else does Medigap cover?

Emergency travel is just one benefit of Medigap. These plans may also cover your Medicare Part A & B deductibles, coinsurance and excess charges.

If you’re enrolled after 2020, you’ll see that Plan G covers more benefits than any other lettered plan. Medigap Plan G can save you thousands, by limiting your financial exposure. With that said, Plan G may not be financially viable for some people. Do not let that discourage you! Medigap Plan N and Medigap High Deductible G are both very similar to Plan G, with lower monthly premiums. Go ahead and compare Medigap plans to ensure you have picked the best plan for you.

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What if I Missed my Initial Enrollment for Medigap but want Foreign Coverage?

You have two and a half options.

  • Apply for Medigap: Preexisting conditions could raise your rate or even cause a denial of coverage. If you’re approved, then you can travel with your plan without any further medical exams.
  • Blue Shield California Medigap Underwriting Holiday: Allows almost every Medicare beneficiary in California to join Medigap Plan G for a limited period of time. (This is the 1/2 option because it only applies to Californians who are not currently enrolled in Blue Shield)
  • Enroll in Travel Insurance: Go through a private company that offers travel insurance. Generally, requires proof of wellness at time of purchase and before traveling.

What to do now:

If you have a question or are ready to enroll in a Medigap plan call 800-930-7956 or contact Senior65.com.

Our licensed agents can NEVER charge you a fee for a quote or enrollment.