How to get Medical Coverage While Traveling Outside the U.S.




Summertime is the peak travel season when many people choose to vacation outside the United States. Naturally, you’ll buy your airline tickets, pack your suitcase, and bring your passport. While you’re at it, don’t forget to consider how you’ll pay for medical emergencies that may occur while traveling abroad.

While Original Medicare does not cover you outside of the United States (except for very rare circumstances), there are still several ways you can get coverage for emergency care.

  1. Medicare Supplement policies: If you have a Medicare Supplement plan (sometimes called “Medigap”) be aware that six of the 10 plans currently available for sale cover you for emergency treatment outside of the United States.


If you have plans C, D, F, G, M, or N, you will be covered for medical emergencies that occur outside of the U.S.—so long as the emergency occurs within 60 days of leaving the U.S. These plans will pay 80% of your medical cost after you meet a $250 deductible, with a lifetime limit of $50,000.


  1. Medicare Advantage plans: Many Medicare Advantage plan, will cover medical emergencies, as well as needed urgent care when you travel outside the United States.


  1. International travel policies: These policies are specially designed to pay for medical emergencies as well as non-emergency but unexpected medical care that may be needed while traveling abroad. These plans will often include emergency medical evacuation, which can include bringing you back to the U.S. for treatment, if it is determined to be the best medical option for you. Some plans will even include coverage for extracting you out of areas that have become dangerous due to natural disaster (such as earthquake) or political unrest.


In addition to medical coverage, international travel policies may be purchased with coverage for lost baggage and travel interruption, or trip cancellation.


Now you have thought of everything (you did bring a comb and toothbrush, right?!)


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