Traveling With Medicare

traveling with medicareIf you want to take care of your health while on the road, you’ll want to know these tips for traveling with Medicare.

If you are planning on traveling sometime in the near future or you are curious about Medicare policies, you may be wondering if your health care benefits you receive through Medicare are still applicable when traveling.

More often than not, your Medicare insurance plan will cover your medical care when traveling depending on a few key things:

  • where it is you may be traveling
  • duration of your trip
  • method in which you receive your Medicare benefits

As you might know I’m a bestselling wellness author and research geek who loves to share tools about how to live longer, while maintaining good health and clarity of mind.

I share many health-boosting techniques inside my book “Life is Long” – as well as a range of articles on my site!

In this particular article I will be sharing some tips for traveling with medicare – so your health stays protected!

Traveling in the U.S. With Medicare

Medicare may or may not cover medical care expenses when traveling in the U.S according to this website. Usually your individual results depend on which Medical Health Plan you have. Although it can also vary in certain circumstances.

If you are traveling in the U.S. and you have medical care insurance with Original Medicare, you are covered when traveling the 50 states and any of its territories (aka Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands).

Original Medicare plans A & B are the most ideal to have if you plan to travel frequently or have extended stays in other states as they provide coverage for hospital and medical expenses. If you happen to need to go to a hospital or clinic during your stay in another state or U.S. territory, Medicare will cover these expenses.

When traveling in the U.S., some Medicare Advantage Plans will cover medical emergency and urgent care costs.

However, not all Medicare Advantage Plans will pay for the medical care you receive outside of the service area. Some Medicare Advantage Plans will cover the cost of medical care outside of the service area. But it will often come with copayments, coinsurances, or service restrictions.

Traveling outside of a Medicare Advantage Plan’s service area for over 6 months will will result in a dismissed enrollment from most plans.

This will be followed by a Special Enrollment Period – which is a grace period that a customer has to join another Medicare plan. If a customer should fail to do so, they will then be enrolled to the Original Medicare plan.

Some Medicare Advantage Plans may provide unique benefits that permit you to continue with a plan should you travel in the U.S. for 12 consecutive months maximum. However, some areas of the U.S. may or may not be included in the Medicare plan.

Traveling Outside of the U.S With Medicare

Typically, Medicare will not cover any medical care you may receive when traveling outside of the U.S. Though, there are certain circumstances in which Medical does pay medical care expenses when traveling outside of the U.S.

  • Traveling to Alaska of another state: Should you travel to Alaska or to any state between Alaska and Canada and need emergency medical care, Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans are required to pay the expenses as the closest available hospital you are able to be treated is located in Canada.
  • U.S. Territorial Water Cruise Travels: If you travel overseas via cruise ship and you are traveling on U.S. territorial waters when you happen to need medical care, Medicare expenses may be covered should an emergency take place.
  • Receiving Medical Care in a Foreign Country: Medicare may occasionally pay for non-emergency inpatient services you may receive in a foreign country. Medicare may also cover any connected provider and ambulance service fees you may receive. Medical care may be covered if the hospital that you may receive treatment in is closer to your residence that the nearest U.S. hospital. (aka the border of Mexico or Canada.)

Other Plans That May Cover Abroad Medical Care Expenses

  • Cetain Medigap Plans: Some Medigap plans may offer coverage for medical care you may receive while traveling abroad. Specifically Medigap plans C through G, M , and N will cover 80% of abroad emergency medical care fees. If the need for medical care should arise within the first 60 days of your trip, your are then required to pay a $250 deductible along with 20% of your treatment cost, as well as up to $50,000 of the lifetime maximum.
  • Medical Advantage Plans: Some Medical Advantage Plans will cover the expense of medical emergencies you may receive when traveling. This, again, may vary depending on the specific situation.
  • Employer and Retiree Plans: Some employer and retiree plans may cover medical emergency fees you may receive when traveling.
  • TRICARE: Some benefits from TRICARE military programs may often include the coverage of medical care emergency fees you may acquire during your travels outside of the U.S.

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