Getting Coverage While Traveling Abroad Can Help You When You Most Need It.
You have a fabulous trip to Europe planned. It begins in Paris, goes through the South of France, then to three places in Spain. The last stop is Great Britain where you will tour England and Ireland. Trip of a lifetime. Unless you get sick or hurt. Then you will wonder if you have medicare coverage out of the country!
Aside from the trauma of illness or accident, generally speaking, Medicare stops at the U.S. border. You will not be covered for hospitals, doctors, or supplies.
There are some exceptions and several solutions.
When Medicare covers expenses in foreign countries
Geography matters. You are traveling in the U.S. near a border and have a medical emergency. If the nearest hospital is across the border, you may be covered. Likewise, if you live near a border and the nearest hospital is outside of the U.S. boundary, you may be eligible for coverage whether it is an emergency or not.
If you do end up in a hospital outside of the U.S. in these two circumstances, find out if they will bill Medicare directly. If not, you will need to submit an itemized list of all services that apply for reimbursement.
Solving the foreign coverage issue
There are three solutions for ensuring coverage when traveling in foreign countries. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage. You can also purchase a travel insurance policy that covers healthcare during foreign travel.
Some of the Medigap policies include coverage outside the U.S. The supplemental insurance plans that cover 80 percent of the expenses are C, D, F, G, M, and N. You will be responsible for the usual 20 percent and your deductible will also be in play.
If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Medigap coverage is different, so check your plan before you go.
Medicare coverage out of the country is an important issue for many who travel or work abroad.
But its best to know before you go.
Bon Voyage. Be sure to guarantee that you have the appropriate coverage – well before you leave. Enjoy your trip!
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