Medicare coverage when traveling internationally
If you’re looking to travel North or South of the border or across the pond, Medicare can get complicated. Original Medicare won’t pay for most supplies and services outside the United States. There are very specific exemptions to this rule, leaving little room for coverage in a foreign place.
Be sure to research Medicare Advantage providers during AEP, as some Advantage plans offer international coverage. Not all Medicare Advantage plans are created equal, but Aetna, for example, offers some of the best international coverage out there. From emergency care to urgent care, Aetna’s Medicare Advantage plans have you in mind when you travel abroad.
Unfortunately, prescription drug coverage is also not available outside of the U.S., even when paired with a Medicare Advantage plan. Some Medigap plans help cover services overseas, but you must meet particular prerequisites to receive additional help from Medigap in a foreign country. Medigap coverage may depend upon how long you have been in the foreign country, the type of service you are receiving, and the payment of a $250 deductible.
Medicare’s lack of international coverage may seem dire, but all is not lost when it comes to health coverage overseas. Although separate from Medicare, international travel insurance pays for emergency and routine medical services outside the U.S. Each travel insurance plan is different, so plan ahead based on potential needs.
International travel is more enjoyable when you know you’re covered. Find the plan that puts your health first.
- Original Medicare:
In most situations, Medicare won’t pay for health care or supplies you get outside the U.S., with few exceptions.
- Medicare Advantage:
Unlike Original Medicare, there are Medicare Advantage plans that offer comprehensive international coverage. Take a closer look at Aetna Medicare Advantage plans for example.
Medigap covers foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip. Medigap also 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.
- Part D Prescription Coverage:
If you purchase prescription drugs outside of the U.S., do not expect Medicare drug plans to cover them. You’ll need to get travel insurance or Medigap* to potentially help pay those expenses.
* Medigap will only potentially cover 80% of medically-necessary prescription drugs that are administered in a hospital during a medically-necessary stay.
Quick Medicare & Travel Guide
The following chart shows you which Medicare plans cover what services both domestically and internationally. Remember: if you have questions or need extra help enrolling in a new plan with better travel coverage, call 833-716-0673 to speak with a licensed Medicare agent.