As a Medicare recipient, you can travel anywhere in the United States and still be covered, as long as you use doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare. However, if you travel outside of the United States, your Medicare coverage is limited. But what about Medicare Supplement Insurance? How does your plan work when you travel in the U.S. and out of the country?
Coverage In the U.S.
Like Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement plans typically do not require that you use specific doctors or hospitals from a network. Medical care you receive anywhere in the U.S. is usually covered. However, there are exceptions. If you have a Medicare Select plan with a defined network, different rules apply, and you may not be able to use your insurance outside of your plan’s network. In addition, some plans with benefits above Original Medicare, like vision and dental, may make these benefits available only in the state where you bought the plan.
Coverage Outside of the U.S.
Depending on the Medicare Supplement plan you choose, you may have coverage for services or medical supplies you need while out of the country. Currently, plans C, D, F, G, M and N offer foreign travel emergency health care coverage when traveling outside of the United States. Plans E, H, I and J, while no longer available for sale, also offer coverage. If you purchased one of these plans before June 1, 2010, you can keep it, along with your foreign travel emergency care benefits.
With any plan offering foreign travel benefits, care must begin sometime within the first 60 days of your trip, and cannot be covered by Original Medicare. After you meet a $250 deductible, your Medigap plan will pay 80 percent of the billed charges. Note: Foreign travel emergency care provided by plans have a lifetime limit of $50,000.