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Using Medicare When Traveling

May 15, 20242 min read

I hope you’re enjoying nicer weather and ready for all the pretty colors of spring and summer.  I know that this time of year brings about thoughts of travel.

If you have Medicare, you may or may not know how your Medicare coverage works when it comes to travel.  In fact, a lot of people I meet with usually have a little bit of fear around traveling and what might follow if they have a medical emergency.

There are a few ways that Medicare plans cover you when you’re traveling

The first is the Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage Plans come with emergency and urgent coverage across the country.  Some of the plans also give you emergency worldwide coverage. This means that if you’re on vacation or visiting family out of town and an emergency arises, you are able to go to the closest emergency room and you’ll be covered just as if you would have been in your home area. The same applies to Urgent Care.

With worldwide emergency coverage, you are covered out of the country if a medical emergency happens. Here are the steps, while you are there you will need to pay the bill, keep the receipt and when you come home, submit the receipts to your insurance carrier for reimbursement.  The plan will pay just as if it would have paid had you been in the country.  A lot of these plans will waive the Emergency Room Copay when you are out of the country. Unfortunately plans cannot bill internationally but they can reimburse you.

The second arrangement is if you have Medicare as your primary payer, you can go to any provider in the country who accepts Medicare.  You might also have Tricare for Life, Champ VA, or a Medicare Supplement. These plans will pay second after Medicare has paid. With Medicare you are only covered in the United States, with limited coverage near the US border.  Some Medicare Supplements have a small lifetime amount of Foreign Travel Emergency Coverage (Plans C, D, F, G, M & N).

If you’re not sure what your plan includes, I am happy to help.  Please feel free to give me a call at 720-655-6015.

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I do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently I represent 16 organizations which offer 80 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800–MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all your options.

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