To many, retirement means freedom. Being able to wake up and do as you please all day, without the responsibility of work. Many older Americans use this time to travel, checking off places and things on their bucket list.
If you plan to become a jetsetter upon retirement, you should check whether your health insurance coverage travels with you.
When you travel, your coverage will depend on where you travel to and what plan you decided to go with, Original Medicare of Medicare Advantage. Additionally, routine care is treated differently than emergency care.
Original Medicare will cover hospital stays and outpatient care. When on this plan, you can see any doctor who takes Medicare in the U.S. and its territories. This is for both regular care and hospital care. However, if you travel abroad, things get a little more complicated.
Generally speaking, original Medicare doesn’t provide coverage once you leave the U.S. There are exceptions including:
- You’re traveling from state to state and the closest hospital to treat you is in a foreign country (like Canada or Mexico)
- Medical care you get on a cruise ship while the ship is in U.S. territorial waters. The ship will need to be in a U.S. port or within six hours of arrival at or departure from a U.S. port.
- Non-emergency inpatient services in a foreign hospital if the hospital is closer to your residence than the nearest available U.S.
If you supplemented your Original Medicare with a Medigap plan, many of those do provide coverage for travel. Though, you will pay a deductible and 20% of costs which can add up quickly depending on what type of medical care you require.
Medicare Advantage Plans have smaller networks of doctors and hospitals. If you are traveling outside of your home state, you will likely not be covered. However, some plans can offer coverage when overseas, but it’s important to look closely at your plan.
You can also opt for travel insurance. Some do not cover pre-existing conditions and can be pricey so do your research!
If you plan to take advantage of your retirement, traveling as you please, be sure to find a Medicare plan that travels with you. We’ve helped thousands of people find the right plan for you. Call our hotline today. We will compare hundreds of plans to find the best one for you. The best part? It’s completely FREE. Call now before your next trip!