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Traveling with Medicare

A retired couple is excited to learn more about their Medicare coverage options while traveling

Retirement is an exciting life milestone. After years of hard work, you’re ready to relax and recharge with long-awaited travel plans. If you plan to travel in retirement, it’s a good idea to review your Medicare plan to understand what it does and doesn’t cover if you experience a health issue while away from home. Medicare coverage will vary depending on your plan and whether you’re traveling inside the U.S. or internationally. In this article, we’ll help you understand how Medicare coverage works while traveling so you can reach your destination with peace of mind.

Medicare Coverage While Traveling

Keep in mind that your Medicare coverage will vary depending on where you’re traveling. If you have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), you will typically be covered anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Part C) , your plan may or may not cover care outside of your service area. Certain Medicare Advantage plans will provide coverage outside of your service area or with out-of-network providers at a higher copayment or coinsurance cost. However, these extra costs do not apply to emergency or urgent care. Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover emergency and urgent care anywhere in the U.S. without imposing additional costs or coverage restrictions.

Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) Coverage While Traveling

A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan—also known as Medigap Insurance—is optional insurance that can help fill coverage gaps. If you intend to travel internationally during retirement, it might be worth looking at your Medigap policy options, as some do provide coverage for travel abroad. Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, however, should cover the following circumstances outside of the U.S.:

  • You’re in the U.S. when a medical emergency occurs that requires immediate medical attention to prevent a disability or death, and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition.
  • You’re traveling through Canada without unreasonable delay by the most direct route between Alaska and another state when a medical emergency occurs, and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency.
  • 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 an emergency exists.

Learn more about Medicare and your coverage options when traveling with SelectQuote.

Making sure your Medicare coverage will meet your needs when you’re away from home will help you enjoy your retirement travels to the fullest. At SelectQuote, we can help answer any questions you have about traveling and Medicare coverage. We quickly and easily compare Medicare Advantage and Supplement plan details, helping you find the right coverage and saving you time and money.

1. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/travel

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