Can I Use Medicare Supplement Insurance in Another Country?

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) won’t typically cover health care or medical supplies you receive in a foreign country.

Certain Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans do offer some coverage for foreign travel emergency health care.

Medigap Plans C, D, F, G, M and N each provide foreign travel emergency care coverage, which you should keep in mind as you travel overseas.

Learn more about your Medigap plan options.

A group of travelers smile and look at a map together

Does Medicare cover international medical care?

Original Medicare typically only covers you in the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the following territories:

  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Guam
  • American Samoa
  • Northern Mariana Islands

The three exceptions to this rule are:

  • You experience a medical emergency in the U.S., but the closest hospital that is equipped to treat your injury or illness is outside of the U.S.

  • You live in the U.S., but the nearest hospital that can adequately treat your condition is located outside of the U.S. Medicare will provide coverage for you at the foreign hospital regardless of whether or not it’s an emergency.

  • You experience a medical emergency while traveling the most direct route between Alaska and another state without unreasonable delay, and the closest hospital to your proximity is located in Canada.

Medicare may also cover medically necessary services on a cruise ship. The ship must be in a U.S. port or no more than six hours away from a U.S. port at the time the services are rendered, and only when the doctor is allowed under certain laws to administer medical services aboard the cruise ship.

Only services that are covered by Medicare Part A or Part B will be covered in the above situations. Any non-covered services will be billed to the patient in full.

Do Medicare Supplement Insurance plans cover foreign travel emergencies?

6 of the 10 Medigap plans currently for sale in 2019 provide coverage for foreign emergency care:

Medigap Plans E, H, I and J are no longer available for sale, but they also provide foreign emergency health care coverage. If you bought one of these 4 plans before June 1, 2010, you may keep the plan.

Each of the above Medicare Supplement Insurance plans cover 80 percent of medically necessary emergency care costs received outside of the U.S. during the first 60 days of your trip.

It’s important to keep in mind that this coverage is only valid for U.S. residents who are traveling abroad, and is not for people who are living outside the U.S.

If you have one of the above Medigap plans, your plan will help cover overseas care costs after you meet a $250 annual deductible in 2019.

There is a $50,000 lifetime coverage limit of foreign emergency care for all plans.

Medigap Plans with Foreign Benefits

Each of the 6 Medigap plans currently available that include coverage of foreign emergency care also include the following coverage:

In addition, Medigap Plan C and Plan F provide coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible.

Plan F and Plan G also provide coverage for Medicare Part B excess charges.

Compare Medigap plans before you travel

Not all Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are available in every location. A licensed insurance agent can help you learn more about Medigap plans that are available where you live.

Learn about Medigap plans in your area


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