If you dream of traveling when you retire, you are not alone. We have met countless retirees eager to explore and enjoy all the beauty they can across our country and beyond. You may be wondering, like many, “How does Medicare work when I travel?”
Boy do I have great news for you. If you have Original Medicare you have coverage anywhere in the United States and its territories. So if you’re dreaming of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, or good old white sandy beaches in Destin, Florida, ORIGINAL MEDICARE has you covered. Isn’t that such a relief? Original Medicare is transparent, universal, and every procedure, facility, and cost is public information.
Please note, that this does not include Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage or Part C is private health insurance contracted with the government to manage your care. They have a minimum standard of covering what A and B would without any supplemental, but remember they can do so within the limited means of their own managed care system. When you buy an advantage plan, even if it has a zero dollar monthly premium, you surrender the right to Original Medicare paying any of your claims while you have it. Plan rules are not only state specific, but county specific and travel may impose heavy extra cost. Your plan may impose managed care restrictions, like prior authorization and additional higher cost sharing. Contact your plan to see what rules and costs apply to you. Please note, emergency an urgent care are required to be covered no matter where in the US, but you will likely have to document specifics for claims to be covered.
Beware that if you travel outside your Advantage plan service area for more than six months, you will have a special enrollment period to choose a different plan since these plans are regional and will not move with you. Alternatively, Original Medicare will move with you and remain universal across state borders. What about international travel?
Original Medicare will pay for emergency serviced in Canada, on a cruise in US waters or even in limited situations when non-emergency inpatient services and any ambulance related is required because your residence is closer to the foreign facility than the nearest US hospital. This may be the case if you live near the border of Mexico or Canada. Some Medigap policies provide even more coverage abroad. Check with your policy about your specific plan. Short term travel policies may also be available for your specific trip. Check with your local agent, travel agency, or retirement Mama Bear.
Congratulations on your retirement now or in the future! You deserve to enjoy the travel of your dreams without fear of financial devastation due to Medical Expense. When you are eligible for Original Medicare, you can do exactly that. You can plan and even buy guaranteed renewable coverage that can never drop you or change while you have it. If you still have questions about travel or if you have a trip planned, we would love to help review your coverage to make sure it includes your destination.
You can even call or text me personally. My name is Ellie Saul, CEO and Mama Bear of Mama Bear Resources. 341-226-MAMA that ’s 341-226-6262. You worked your whole life for this. Protect your retirement.