How Can I Apply For Medicare If I Live Out Of The U.S.?

Generally the guidelines stipulated in the recipient’s program within the US, apply to services and supplies received outside of the US. If the recipient would normally pay for the services or supplies in the US the same would apply outside of the US. There are exceptions to the traditional program; Part A and Part B may provide coverage outside of the US. Part C, the Advantage Plan or Medigap supplement may provide recipient coverage for health care, when traveling outside of the US.


Medicare may cover inpatient hospital services in Canada or Mexico if the recipient resides in a bordering US state and the foreign hospital is closer or easier access from the recipient’s residence. The required health services must be available. The same rule applies when traveling within Canada and Mexico, the foreign hospital must be closer than a US hospital and capable of treating emergency conditions.

Cruise ship’s docked in US ports or within 6 hours from a US port may be covered under Medicare. All ships beyond the 6 hours from any US port are not covered under Medicare, regardless of emergency or non-emergency conditions.

Foreign Coverage

Medicare recipients can purchase supplement health care insurance when travelling outside of the US. Prior to travelling outside of the US, the recipient should check with the Advantage Plan administrator to confirm limitations and restrictions applying to Part C.

Medigap policies are sold by independent insurance companies for emergency health care, as a supplement to traditional Medicare, when traveling outside of the US. Lifetime limitations exist under Medigap.

One Response to “How Can I Apply For Medicare If I Live Out Of The U.S.?”

  1. Many thanks for such a great informative post….Medicare serves and important role for a lot of senior citizens who might otherwise be unable to afford high quality medical care. Besides Medicare protect visits to the doctor, but it also insures durable medical devices.

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