When traveling outside the United States, I understand that Medicare does not cover your medical expenses. Are there insurance companies that will provide this coverage at a reasonable cost?
–Francis, Haddonfield, N.J.
You’re correct that Medicare generally does not provide coverage while traveling abroad. There are insurance companies that will provide travel medical insurance. However, because coverage plans depend on which state you live in and on your specific needs, it is difficult to provide exact policies or pricing. Some companies to look into, however, are Access America and HTH Worldwide.
Here's an example: Assuming that your trip is about $2,000, insurance could cost you roughly anywhere from $100 to $250, depending on which plan you choose to get. A lower-end plan provides for emergency medical treatment and evacuation. The most expensive plan also allows you a waiver of the preexisting medical conditions exclusion, as well as prescription replacement and physician referrals.
Another company to consider, espeically if take more frequent international trips, is AARP provider MedjetAssist. With a Medjet membership, if you become ill or injured while traveling more than 150 miles from home and require inpatient hospital care, you'll get transportation to the hospital of your choice. AARP members receive an 18% discount: $205 annually for an individual and $315 for a family (AARP members up to age 75).