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En español | Medicare doesn’t pay for medical services outside the United States and its territories, except in the following rare situations: 

  • You’re traveling between Alaska and another state and have a medical emergency that means you must be treated in Canada.
  • A medical emergency occurs while you’re in the United States or its territories, but the nearest hospital is in a foreign country — for example, across the border in Canada or Mexico. 
  • You live within the United States or its territories and need hospital care (regardless of whether it’s an emergency), but the nearest hospital is in a foreign country. 
  • You’re on a ship that's within six hours of a U.S. port.

Some Medigap supplemental insurance policies (those labeled C, D, F, G, M or N) cover emergencies or urgently needed treatment abroad, if the need for care begins during the first 60 days of your trip. In this situation, you pay a $250 deductible and 20 percent of the cost of the medical treatment you receive, up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000. 

Some Medicare Advantage plans also cover medical emergencies. So do some employer or retiree plans and TRICARE military benefits. Check with your plan whether it will cover you during your trip.

Otherwise, you need to buy travel insurance that covers medical emergencies when planning journeys abroad.    


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