AMAC’s Medicare Tip of the Week: What You Need to Know When Traveling
When it comes to traveling, knowing how your Medicare coverage works is important to know. Whether you are taking a trip domestically or abroad, your coverage may work differently depending on where you are in the world. Watch the video below to learn what your Medicare plan will cover while you travel! For help with Medicare plans – or any questions you may have about Medicare – contact AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service at 1-855-696-7535 or click the button below. For more information, keep reading!
Whether you are taking a trip domestically or abroad, your Medicare coverage may work differently depending on your location. So, when it comes to traveling, it is wise to know how your coverage will work, wherever you may be.
Let’s go over Medicare plans and how they work when travelling:
Original Medicare (Part A & B) provides coverage in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Health care that you receive in foreign countries is not covered and Medicare does not cover medical services on a cruise ship if the ship is more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port.
- You are in the U.S. when a medical emergency occurs that requires immediate medical attention to prevent a disability or death, and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition.
- You are traveling through Canada without unreasonable delay by the most direct route between Alaska and another state when a medical emergency occurs, and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency.
- You live in the U.S. and the foreign hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition, regardless of whether an emergency exists.
Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) operate off a network like an HMO or PPO and typically restrict where you may receive coverage throughout the United States. Unless it is an emergency or urgent situation, a provider may deny care or charge a higher copay. Some Advantage plans offer travel coverage that allows you to see providers throughout the U.S. if they participate in the carrier’s network. In addition, you will have limited coverage near the U.S. border and out of the country.
Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap plans) can be used anywhere throughout the U.S. if the provider accepts Original Medicare, however they provide limited coverage abroad. The foreign travel emergency benefit of Medigap insurance applies only during the first 60 days of travel and will cover 80% of emergency health care outside the country, with a $250 deductible to be satisfied first. There is a lifetime limit of $50,000 for foreign travel emergencies also with a Medigap plan.
Prescription Drug plans (Part D) do not cover prescription drugs you buy outside the U.S. You may be able to fill your prescriptions while traveling inside the U.S. by contacting your plan and searching for an in-network pharmacy in the area which you are traveling.
To sum it up, there are certain circumstances in which Medicare will cover you when traveling, however, there may also be restrictions on how your coverage will work. If you’re traveling soon and are concerned about needing medical care, make sure to check what your plan offers for emergencies that may occur outside the U.S.!