UPDATED on Dec. 16, 2018. Does Medicare Supplement cover Foreign Travel? Original Medicare does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States. Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage benefits for health care needs when you travel outside the United States. But travelers enrolled in the Original Medicare or whose Medicare Advantage plan does not cover foreign travel — will need to purchase health insurance from another source, such as short-term travel insurance.
Read below on different ways to cover Foreign Travel.
Original Medicare and Foreign Travel
Original Medicare provides health coverage outside of the U.S. only in the following limited cases:
- You’re in the U.S. when you have a medical emergency, and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your illness or injury.
- You’re traveling through Canada without unreasonable delay when a medical emergency occurs, and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your illness or injury.
- 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 it’s an emergency.
In these situations, Medicare will pay only for the Medicare-covered services you get in a foreign hospital.
In the case of cruise ships, the health care services are provided if the ship is in a U.S. port or no more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port when you get the services, regardless of whether it’s an emergency. There is no health coverage when the ship is more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port.
Medicare Advantage and Coverage outside of the U.S.
Rules for health coverage outside of the U.S. for Medicare Advantage plans are similar to regulations for Original Medicare. Some Medicare private health plans provide extended coverage. Check the costs and rules of your particular plan.
Medicare Supplement and Foreign Travel – Medigap Plans
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap Plans) provide the best opportunity for health care coverage outside the U.S. The plans include:
- Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N provide foreign travel emergency medical coverage when you travel outside the U.S.
- Old Medicare Supplement plans E, H, I, and J are no longer for sale, but if you bought one before June 1, 2010, you might keep it. All of these plans also provide foreign travel emergency medical coverage when you travel outside the U.S.
Medicare Supplement and Foreign Travel – Benefits
If you have one of the following Medicare Supplement Plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M or N, then the plan:
- Covers foreign travel emergency care during the first 60 days of any trip, and if Medicare doesn’t otherwise cover the care.
- Pays 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year.
- Foreign travel emergency coverage with Medigap policies has a lifetime limit of $50,000.
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