Can I Receive Benefits Overseas Through My Medical Medicare Insurance Plan?
The Truth About Your Medical Medicare Insurance Benefits Coverage If You Travel or Move Overseas
If you are an American traveling abroad or retiring overseas, benefits through your medical Medicare insurance will not follow you. The information in this article explains the medical Medicare insurance in these situations.
If you travel outside the US, you won't be covered through your medical Medicare insurance. Medicare supplement plans, Parts C through J, are available for purchase. Most of the supplement plans, which have a dollar limit, only cover the first 60 days outside the US. It's recommended travelers consult an agent for assistance in determining which plan best fits their needs. Medigap, one such Medicare Supplement plan, is often suggested for individuals traveling abroad frequently. It provides coverage at no extra cost for eligible treatments. Supplements are reimbursement plans. You must pay for treatment first, then seek reimbursement. Many supplement plans omit coverage for pre-existing health conditions.
You will not be covered by your medical Medicare insurance if you retire abroad. Upon your return to the US, Medicare Part A becomes available to you. Part B, the medical coverage, is a little trickier. It's important you enroll for Medicare when you turn 65. If you decline to enroll during the initial enrollment period, you may have to pay more for Part B. Similarly, if you don't pay Part B's monthly premium while overseas, you'll be required to re-enroll when you return here and pay 10% more for each year you weren’t covered. So, you may want to pay the monthly premium for your medical insurance while abroad, although it seems counter-intuitive to do so when you're unable to benefit from the coverage. Part B re-enrollment is allowed from January through March with coverage resuming in July.