Traveling is an exciting time for most people. Considering that work takes up a majority of our lives, many look forward to a good vacation. Traveling makes you happier, lets you disconnect and recharge, relieves stress and anxiety, and exposes you to new experiences. It is so important to get out of your day-to-day routine and take a trip somewhere.
When traveling, it’s essential to know your Medicare benefits and the details of your plan in case you need medical treatment during travel. This article has compiled five important facts you need to know about Medicare and travel. Keep reading to learn more!
Fact #1: Medicare Does Not Travel Everywhere with You
Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a vacation to Bali, and you’ve decided now is the time. Unfortunately, Medicare coverage is very limited outside of the United States and its territories.
Medicare will not pay for health care or medical supplies you receive being outside of the U.S.
So, if you are planning an international trip, rest assured, there are other options.
Medicare beneficiaries who travel outside the U.S. and have no additional coverage besides Original Medicare must purchase short-term travel insurance or buy a Medigap policy that will cover international emergencies. Medigap Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N offer emergency travel coverage; however, it only applies during the first 60 days of a trip. Most people do not travel for 60 days straight, so this may work for you.
In addition, there are specific Medicare Advantage plans that provide emergency coverage benefits when beneficiaries are traveling outside of the U.S., but this benefit varies by plan.
Keep this fact in mind when planning a vacation overseas.
Fact #2: Double-Check Your Medicare Plan
Do you know what your Medicare plan covers? You can find out at Medicare.gov, your plan’s Summary of Benefits letter, or you can call your insurance company, or Medicare directly to find out.
Different Medicare plans cover traveling differently, so make sure you know your benefits and limitations on your plan. You might have travel benefits you didn’t know about, or you may have restrictions that you didn’t know. By knowing your plan, you can pick up coverage that you need for a trip or feel safe knowing that your plan has everything you need.
Fact #3: Pack Your Medicare Card When You Travel
We don’t plan for accidents to happen, but sometimes they do. We especially don’t plan for anything to go wrong on vacation. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. That is why packing your Medicare card with you wherever you’re traveling is so important. If something were to happen, it’s better to have your Medicare card with you than at home. You should secure your Medicare card in a safe place when you’re traveling where you know where it is always.
Fact #4: Make Sure the Doctor You Go to Accepts Medicare
In the United States and its territories, traveling with Medicare is straightforward. With Medicare, you can go to any hospital or doctor that accepts Medicare. That is simply because most hospitals or doctors do. However, there can be circumstances where the hospital or doctor you visit does not accept Medicare. It’s better to know before you go to a particular place if they accept your insurance or not. It takes just a few minutes to ask and can save so much trouble in the long run.
Fact #5: Additional Coverage
Suppose you want additional peace of mind when you travel. In that case, you can choose to purchase travel medical insurance before your trip. There are travel plans widely available but make sure you know the coverage and restrictions of the plan. You can purchase a plan through a travel agent or a private insurance company to cover your health care expenses while traveling. You can use these travel plans alongside Medigap coverage or another type of health insurance.
Hopefully these facts will help you to think ahead and prepare for your upcoming travels. Traveling and having a medical emergency can be stressful. Still, by planning, you will know all about how Medicare and travel work. Remember that Medicare does not travel everywhere with you, so double-check your Medicare plan, pack your Medicare card, make sure where you go accepts Medicare, and get additional coverage if you need it. Safe travels!