Did you know that your Medicare insurance won’t typically cover routine health care you receive outside of the United States? This could have a potentially costly impact if you go on a cruise and need medical care while you’re on your trip.
Here are five things you should know about how Medicare does – and doesn’t – cover beneficiaries on a cruise.
Medicare Part A and Part B (known together as Original Medicare) may provide coverage for care that is received on a cruise ship if each of the following conditions apply:
Medicare is not restricted to only the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It is also available in U.S. Territories.
Original Medicare coverage is also valid in:
In most situations, Medicare will not provide any coverage for emergency care that is received outside of the of the U.S. or a U.S. territory.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however, that may apply while on a cruise.
If you are in the U.S. or a U.S. territory when an emergency occurs and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the injury or illness, Medicare will provide coverage for the care received at the foreign hospital.
While Original Medicare is limited in its coverage of emergency care received outside of the U.S. and U.S. territories, some Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans provide coverage for emergency care received outside of the U.S.
These plans provide 80% coverage of the emergency care costs after you meet an annual deductible (there is also a lifetime maximum benefit):
Some Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans may provide coverage for emergency care received during foreign travel.
If you have such a plan, contact your plan carrier to see if you might be eligible for coverage during your cruise.
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