Many seniors take the opportunity to travel when they retire, finally getting away on the long, lingering vacations they dreamed about during their working years. Others live in border areas and routinely cross national boundaries as they go about their business. Either way, If you hope to take Medicare benefits with you abroad then choosing the right sort of plan to purchase will take you a long way.
Medicare covers expenses incurred in the United States (including Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa) except in the following circumstances:
– A patient is traveling through Canada from Alaska to the closest state in the US without unreasonable delay, experience a medical emergency and a Canadian hospital that can treat your ailment is closer than a US hospital. Medicare decides what constitutes unreasonable delay on a case-by-case basis.
– A Medicare patient get sick or injured in the US and there is a foreign hospital closer than the nearest US hospital.
– There is a foreign hospital closer to a patient's home, regardless of whether or not a particular emergency arises.
In addition, Medicare can not cover prescription drugs purchased outside the United States.
If you're on a cruise ship in a US port or more more than six hours away from the United States, Medicare will pay for medical services received so long as the provider is legally able to provide services at sea.
Please note that foreign hospitals are not required to submit Medicare claims. If you can not get a US hospital to submit your claim, you must submit an itemized bill for services rendered.
Standard Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M and N cover 80% of certain medically necessary services outside of the United States after you meet a $ 250 deductible. These plans cover you during your first sixty days of travel and only if Medicare does not cover the care. There is a $ 50,000 lifetime limit on emergency foreign travel coverage. Please note that dialysis is only covered in the event of an emergency.
Medicare Advantage often covers services abroad, especially in cases of emergency. Usually, though, extra charges will be incurred by seeing providers outside your plan's network. For specific information, check a plan of evidence of coverage or summary of benefits documents. When in doubt, always call and speak to a representative at your carrier.