While many of us look forward to roaming the world once we have retired, we need to be prepared. Traditional Medicare does not provide coverage for hospital and medical costs outside the United States. Exception: Medicare does cover residents of Puerto, Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands and Samoa.
Private Medicare plans may provide benefits for health care when a participant of the plan travels outside the United States. Be sure to look at your plan before leaving the country. If your plan does not cover foreign travel you will need to purchase health insurance from another source.
Medicare beneficiaries can purchase health coverage through either a short term travel insurance policy or a Medigap policy that covers foreign emergencies. Medigap plans lettered C through J offer travel insurance for the first 60 days of any trip. The benefit covers 80% of emergency care provided outside of the country.
There are travel policies that one can purchase from private companies that will cover health care expenses overseas.
You can find more information at the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. The Bureau also has a list of companies that offer travel medical insurance.
Travel often, travel safe, travel insured.