How does Medicare cover international travel?

It helps to know what is covered ahead of time so you can plan and add to your coverage if you choose before you leave.

How health plans work when you are out of the country

Many health plans may provide out-of-network coverage when you travel outside of the U.S. However, the way services are paid for can be different. Doctors and hospitals in other countries will commonly expect you to pay upfront before starting treatment. You will need to keep careful records and submit everything for reimbursement when you get home. Medicare international coverage reimburses costs afterward.

Check your health plan specifics about international travel

It’s a good idea to read your health plan documents and talk to your Medicare insurance agent before you go. Then you’ll know ahead of time what’s covered and what’s not. See if there are any special services or requirements for international travelers.

Bring names of any medications along with you

If you or a family member take any prescription medications, make a written list of medication names and dosages. Also include the name, telephone number, email address, and mailing address of your prescribing doctor, just in case you need it.

Tip: Print a card or paper slip for your wallet with your medications on it.

Consider international travel medical insurance

There are several advantages to an international travel medical insurance policy. For instance, international travel insurance plans, along with travel assistance services, can help you:

  • Find a pre-screened quality medical provider.
  • Have much higher limits.
  • Cover costs at the time of treatment rather than having to wait for reimbursement after you get home.
  • Get home in a medical emergency. Air Medi-evac costs in the neighborhood of $50,000.
  • Get help with non-medical problems, like a lost passport or a legal need.
  • Add riders to cover preexisting conditions, lost baggage, trip cancellation, or adventure travel

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