Learn more about Medicare here: https://www.remedigap.com/ecourse/
How Medicare Supplemental coverage works while traveling -
Links noted in this video:
CMS Publication: Medicare Coverage Outside United States https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11037-Medicare-Coverage-Outside-United-Stat.pdf
Medicare and You: Traveling Abroad
This video is helpful for Medicare Beneficiaries who travel on vacation, travel by RV, travel by motorhome, or live part time in another state (snowbirds). If this applies to you, then you might be wondering how Medicare Supplemental coverage works while traveling.
According to CMS as of January 2017 more than 515,000 Medicare providers actively receiving payments) and that large network is a real benefit to you while traveling.
I’ll share with you all the details on how Medicare Supplemental coverage works while traveling in the United States, abroad, and how Medicare Supplement plan coverage differs from Medicare Advantage plans. And, make sure you read to the end of this post where I share tips on how to use your Part D drug plan while traveling.
The great news about Medicare Supplement insurance is that it can travel with you across all 50 states and U.S. territories. So, all you have to remember is that a provider who accepts Medicare also accepts your Medicare Supplement plan...regardless of who your Medicare Supplement insurance company is.
It’s not about the name of the Medicare Supplement insurance carrier, it’s about seeing providers in Medicare’s network. As long as the provider or facility accepts Medicare, your Medicare Supplement insurance company will pay the required costs associated with the Outline of Benefits for your Medigap plan.
But can you use Medicare out of the country?
Medicare is very limited in what it covers for foreign travel. And, in most cases, Medicare won’t pay for health care or supplies you get outside the United States and U.S. territories. However, there are 3 situations in which Medicare will cover health care services in a hospital setting located in Canada or Mexico. See the link at the top of this post that takes you to CMS’s four page publication that goes over those rules in detail.
Medigap plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M, and N pay 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care needs outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year. Keep in mind, these Medigap policies cover foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip, and has a lifetime limit of $50k.
Medicare Supplement Plans and Medigap plans are the same type of health coverage. But, Medicare supplement plans are not the same as Medicare advantage plans. They don't work the same while traveling. One reason is because MAPDs don’t use Medicare's vast network. Medicare Advantage Plans are HMOs and PPOs and have service area networks. Variables such as how long you travel, where you travel, and the kind of care you need will impact whether or not your care will be covered while traveling or living somewhere part time. And, as for foreign travel, some Medicare Advantage Plans cover emergency care outside the U.S. but, again, you have to check the plan benefits to see what costs and rules apply.
Which is completely different than Medicare Supplement plans, where you don’t have to constantly check plan benefits or your provider network. As long as the provider accepts Medicare (in the U.S. and territories), you’re covered… and your Medigap plan F, Medigap Plan G, or Medigap Plan N will pay accordingly. This offers greater peace of mind and ease of use while traveling compared to MAPD.
And, let me share with you an example of how Medicare's network really came in handy for your father in law. He was visiting us before traveling out of the country and the day he was leaving for his trip, he noticed a spot on his skin that was bothering him. He wanted to have it checked before his trip. However, he was at our house and nowhere near his dermatologist. But, since he had Medicare and A Medigap plan, he was able to visit a dermatologist near my house with no network issues. Now, if he had a Medicare Advantage Plan, he would have been out of the plan's service area, and wouldn't have in network coverage. And...since it wasn't an emergency, it definitely wouldn't have been covered once he left the country.
Lastly, if you have a Part D plan or are planning to get one, make sure you choose a plan that has national coverage so you can get prescriptions filled while traveling. If you use Medicare’s Plan Finder Tool, keep an eye out for the little N that indicates National Coverage. And, if you choose a plan that only provides coverage at one retail location (like the AARP Walgreens plan), then keep that in mind if you know you’ll be traveling.