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Does Medicare Cover you Outside the United States

  • Published: 2009-03-19 (Revised/Updated 2010-06-27) : Author: Steve Dasseos
  • Synopsis: If you are 65 or older you may not know that Medicare does not cover you outside the United States.

Main Document

Are you taking a trip outside of The United States? If you're 65 or older, you may not know that Medicare doesn't cover you outside the United States. That's where getting a good travel insurance plan can come in handy.

The Original Medicare Plan does not cover health care when you travel outside the United States, except for some emergency situations in Mexico and Canada.

In rare cases, Medicare can pay for inpatient hospital services that you get in Canada or Mexico. Medicare can pay only if:

You are in the United States when a medical emergency occurs and the Canadian or Mexican hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency.

You are 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 United States and the Canadian or Mexican hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition, regardless of whether an emergency exists.

Some Medicare + Choice plans may provide worldwide coverage benefits for health care needs when you travel outside the United States. You should check with your Medicare + Choice plan prior to traveling outside of the United States regarding worldwide coverage benefits.

Medigap policies C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J provide Foreign Travel Emergency health care coverage when you travel outside the United States. Under these plans, Medigap policies pay for 80% of the cost of emergency care during the first 60 days of each trip after you pay the $250 deductible. Foreign Travel Emergency coverage with Medigap policies have a lifetime limit of $50,000. Check with your plan or insurance regarding your coverage before you travel outside the country.

Reference: Steve Dasseos is the CEO of, the world's most informative travel insurance website. You can compare reputable travel insurance plans, get person-to-person service & advice.

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