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As more people get vaccinated, travel experts expect a steady increase in summer travel. People over 65 often call us at Chapter with questions about what Medicare might cover during their upcoming trips. We’ve created a guide for you and your loved ones as you plan your upcoming vacation.
- Original Medicare does not cover health care while you’re traveling outside the United States. The U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are considered part of the U.S.
- If you are traveling abroad and have a Medicare Supplement, you will likely receive some coverage. People on Plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I J, M, or N, these plans typically cover foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip. These plans pay 80% of billed charges for certain medically necessary care after you meet a $250 yearly deductible. This benefit has a lifetime maximum of $50,000. For more information you can click here.
- For anyone who gets their Medicare benefits - Parts A, B and typically part D - through a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is important to triple check coverage even from state to state. That’s because while these plans are required to cover emergency care in America, you may have to pay out for routine care outside the plan’s service area. In some cases, you may be able to visit out-of-network providers but will have to pay more to see them. The plan or a Medicare Advisor can also help you to find an in-network provider in the area where you are traveling.
- For people with a Medicare Supplement plan, also known as a Medigap plan, they can receive care from any doctor nationwide who accepts Original Medicare. *Note* Ask the doctor’s office or hospital staff before your appointment. While most doctors accept these plans, there are some who do not.
- Plan ahead and try to get your prescriptions ahead of your trip. Or, take the time to double-check that your destination (if based in the United States) has a pharmacy that has “preferred in-network” status with your drug plan to help reduce the cost of your co-pays.
Ari Parker is Chapter’s lead Medicare advisor. His number is 605-205-8869 and you can reach out to him at [email protected].