Let’s learn more about traveling over spring break with Medicare.
Does Medicare Provide Coverage While on Vacation in the U.S.?
If you have Original Medicare, you have coverage anywhere in the United States and its territories which include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Most doctors and hospitals in these regions take Original Medicare.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, things aren’t as straightforward. Some plans will cover care outside of your service area, and some plans will not. For example, some plans cover out-of-network providers but with higher cost-sharing (copayments, coninsurances). Your plan may also impose other restrictions like prior authorization.
Bottom line: If you have Medicare Advantage, get the facts on what your plan covers before traveling outside of your service area. Note that Advantage plans are required to cover emergency and urgent care anywhere in the U.S. for no additional costs.
Does Medicare Provide Coverage While on Vacation Outside the U.S.?
When traveling outside of the U.S. and its territories, Medicare does not usually cover medical treatment. Only in certain circumstances will Medicare provide coverage:
- Medicare will pay for medical care on a cruise ship if you receive care while the ship is on U.S. waters.
- Medicare will pay for emergency services in Canada if you are traveling a direct route between Alaska and another state.
- Medicare may pay for non-emergency inpatient services in a foregin hospital. However, this only happens in very limited situations.
Medigap Plans Can Provide Extra Coverage for Travel
If you’re someone who travels a lot - not just during spring break - it’s worth talking to your financial advisor about a Medigap plan, or supplemental insurance for Original Medicare. (It cannot be used with Advantage plans.)
Some Medigap plans - Plans C, D, F, G, M and N - offer coverage for travel. You’ll pay a $250 annual deductible and 20 percent of costs up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000. Be aware that this doesn’t go very far. The key is to get you healthy enough so that you can return home and be treated on U.S. territory.
To speak with a financial advisor about the best ways to protect yourself while traveling over spring break, contact Leonard Financial Solutions. You deserve to have the peace of mind that your health is protected while seeing the world.