On a Medicare plan?  Thinking about travelling this summer?  Might be a good time to take a look at your policy to see what, if anything, is covered for medical expenses received either in another state or another country.  First determine whether you have Original Medicare, Original Medicare with a Supplement/Medigap plan, or a Medicare Advantage (HMO/PPO) plan.  (If you have coverage through an employer or retiree plan, check your policy or HR department)

Original Medicare
– Original Medicare will cover you for all Medicare benefits throughout the entire United States, as long as you utilize doctors and facilities that accept Medicare patients.  Not all do, but most.  Ask first.  The U.S. includes:  District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, & American Samoa.  Otherwise, no coverage outside the U.S. except in very limited extreme circumstances.  Buy a travel policy.

Supplement/Medigap coverage
– Depending on the plan you purchased, you may have Foreign Travel Emergency coverage included in Plans C, D, F, G, M & N.  It must be a medical emergency that occurs within the first 60 days of travel outside the U.S.  Be aware if you purchased a Select plan, since you will be required to choose your hospital from the list of approved hospitals for non-emergency services.  Check your policy for more details.  Buy a travel policy.

Advantage plan coverage
– Generally speaking, emergency services will be covered whether from network or non-network providers on Advantage plans within the U.S..  Most plans will also cover urgently needed services from non-network providers within the U.S..  Most plans will cover foreign travel urgent & emergency services, but some plans offer much better coverage than others.  Check your policy for more details.  Buy a travel policy.

Something to keep in mind:  your plan may not directly pay the facility where you received care outside of the country.  Be aware that if you have an urgent or emergency visit to a foreign hospital, be prepared to pay the bills upon discharge.  You will need to submit those bills & receipts to your plan for reimbursement.  Afraid to travel outside of the U.S.?  Don’t be.  But do check your policy and know before you go.  And for more peace of mind, why not BUY A TRAVEL POLICY???  Bon voyage!  Questions?  Call, click or stop in today – you’ll be glad you did!