Traveling Overseas When On Medicare: What You Need To Know.
Many people have big plans for what they will do once they retire. Baby boomers are taking advantage of their newfound freedom by traveling the world. Studies show that baby boomers are consistently finding ways to travel affordably, and a lot of them have a travel bucket list. This tendency to research their destinations means they are willing to plan ahead, and insurance coverage is something retirees should definitely be considering in their travel plans.
When you retire, you may have big dreams to see the world. Have you thought about what will happen if you get injured in a foreign country? What are baby boomers doing to make sure they have overseas travel coverage?
Foreign Travel and Medicare Overseas
It’s important when considering your options and retirement plans to know what Medicare Parts A and B will cover when you are traveling. As a general rule, traditional Medicare pays only for medical care in the United States. There are some unique circumstances where Medicare overseas will cover 80% of your emergency care outside of the US.
- Cruise ships no more than 6 hours from a US Port
- Direct driving routes between Alaska and the US
- Situations in which you are sick in the United States but the nearest hospital that can treat you is in another country
- If you live in the U.S., but the nearest hospital to your home is in another country
This means the chances of you getting medical coverage under Medicare when traveling in a foreign country are very slim. Fortunately, there are solutions to this dilemma.
Medicare Plan G
The best way to ensure that you are covered when traveling overseas is to pick up a Medigap plan. For example, Medicare Plan G provides coverage for foreign travel for baby boomers. Plans C, D, F, M, and N also provide some foreign travel coverage. Medicare Supplement Plan G is one of the most common plans for baby boomers.
This supplemental policy helps you cover out-of-pocket costs which are not covered by traditional Medicare. It also will help pay for part of your emergency medical expenses when you’re outside of the United States.
What Will be Covered?
Medicare supplement plans for foreign travelers cover a certain amount of services. Their foreign care coverage is designed to protect you in case of an emergency. It is not designed for routine care or testing.
Baby Boomers can expect that their supplement care foreign travel plan will cover emergencies that begin during the first 60 days of their trip. Baby Boomers who plan on traveling during retirement should invest in travel coverage via a Medigap plan at their first instance of eligibility. Although there is a small deductible, this can provide protection in many situations and will normally pay 80% of the fee for medically necessary emergency care.
What Kind of Travelling Do You Plan on Doing?
While you don’t need exact specifications, it’s good to know approximately how often and for how long you’ll be traveling in the years to come. This is because even Medigap plans have certain limitations when it comes to coverage in foreign countries. Do you think you’ll be out of the country for months at a time? Or will you be taking planned trips for shorter lengths of time?
If you plan on living overseas or plan on taking long extended trips to foreign countries, you may need to consider additional coverage such as travel insurance. If you are living overseas part of the year, you may be able to invest in a private insurance plan from the country that you are living in. However, this should be an addition to your Medigap coverage if the United States is your residence. This will ensure that you are covered in case of emergency during foreign travel and have the most protection possible.
Traveling is a great way to spend retirement. There is a big world out there to see, and you shouldn’t feel limited by fear of health expenses. With these options, you should be able to travel freely with minimal risk of out of pocket costs for emergency healthcare.