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Which Medicare plans cover emergency medical care overseas?

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I met with you in 2023 for a Toni Says personalized Medicare consultation. I have a quick question regarding travel outside the United States because I’m planning a trip to Italy in September. Which Medicare plans cover emergency medical costs while traveling overseas?

I received Medicare advice from my travel agent that has me very confused. I was informed that some Medicare plans, such as Plan F, give foreign travel medical coverage, but others including Plan G (which I am enrolled in), do not. Is this true?

--Laura from Dallas

Hello Laura:

The advice that you were given is not accurate.

Medicare does not cover emergency medical care during foreign travel. It is an added benefit that a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) covers.

 

Medicare Supplement Plans F and G (as well as C, D, M and N) will all cover the same limited amount of emergency foreign travel. These plans pay for emergency care during the first 60 days of a trip outside of the United States. There is a $250 deductible, and the Medicare Supplement plan “only” pays 80%, up to a lifetime maximum benefit of $50,000. You pay 20% and any amounts over the $50,000 lifetime maximum.

Who knows what an air ambulance anywhere overseas will cost? Laura, discuss with your travel agent or explore online for true travelers’ insurance that will take care of any medical needs while traveling in countries worldwide.

But beware, because not all travel insurance plans include medical coverage. It’s important to read the plan’s conditions and restrictions before purchasing the travel insurance policy.

Another important note: Original Medicare and Medicare Part D plans take care of medical and prescription drug expenses in the United States only. So be sure you bring enough of your prescription medication while you are overseas, or you will have to pay out-of-pocket.

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