Traveling with Medicare


This may at face value not seem like such a BIG deal but consider this:

  • Where do your children and grandchildren live?
  • DEnjoy foreign traveling?
  • Maintain two residences?
  • Do you enjoy “seeing the sights”, attending shows or athletic events, maybe recreational activities where you maybe go “off the grid”?

It may be possible to find yourself in one of these situations. Finding out you may not have access to the health care coverage you might need?  We can’t plan for when or where sick or hurt happens but you can ensure you have coverage.

4 Helpful Tips for Traveling with Medicare

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.

Conversely, in most cases, Original Medicare will not cover any foreign health emergency outside of the U.S. and its territories, including cruising.

The U.S. Passports and International Travel stresses that, “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.

3) Medicare Advantage May Not Cover Emergencies Outside the U.S.

Medicare Advantage plans 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. However, 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.

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 is the most comprehensive by covering your Medicare co-pays, deductibles, and extra hospital days, as well as Medigap Plan F plan will cover up to 50k in foreign medical bills.

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About Alicia Gibbons

Alicia is a Senior Office Administrator in the Medigap industry and has 10 years experience. She is a one stop shop for answers, information and support for Medicare clients. When shes not writing you can find her in the garden.