| Unfortunately, no. Medicare doesn’t pay for medical services outside the United States or its territories, unless:
- You experience a medical emergency while traveling between Alaska and another state and a Canadian hospital is closest to your location.
- You face a medical emergency while you’re in the United States or one of its territories, but the nearest hospital is across the border, for example in Canada or Mexico.
- You live in the United States or one of its territories and need hospital care, regardless of whether it’s an emergency, but the nearest hospital is in a foreign country, which might be the case if you live in parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the closest hospital is in the British Virgin Islands.
- You need medical attention and you’re on a ship within six hours of a U.S. port.
Medicare covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as U.S. territories American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
What happens when Medicare does cover foreign travel?
In situations where Medicare covers care outside the United States, Medicare Part A kicks in for inpatient hospitalization. Medicare Part B covers emergency ambulance and doctor services immediately before and during your hospital stay.
The same deductibles, copayments and coinsurance apply as they do for services covered here. But the coverage is limited: Medicare won’t pay for ambulance or doctor services in the foreign country after your covered hospital stay ends.
If you qualify, the foreign hospital may file a claim with Medicare, but it’s not required to do so. In that case, you may need to submit an itemized bill to Medicare. If you receive care on a cruise ship within six hours of a U.S. port, that doctor usually submits the Medicare claim.
Do Medicare supplement policies cover foreign travel?
If you buy a private Medicare supplement policy, better known as Medigap, you may have some coverage for foreign travel emergencies. Medigap Plans C, D, F, G, M and N cover emergency health care while you travel outside of the United States. Plans C and F are no longer available to new Medicare beneficiaries. Only people eligible for Medicare before 2020 can enroll in those two plans.
These Medigap plans cover foreign travel emergency care that begins in the first 60 days of your trip. They pay 80 percent of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the United States, but first you pay a $250 deductible for the year. The Medigap foreign travel emergency coverage has a lifetime limit of $50,000.
What other foreign travel emergency coverage is available?
Other policies provide some coverage for foreign travel emergencies: