Does Medicare Cover My Care When I Travel?

Does Medicare Cover My Care When I Travel?

If you travel to warmer areas when the Michigan winters roll around, it’s important to know what Medicare will cover when you’re outside the state. If you have Original Medicare only, (Parts A and Part B), then you are covered throughout the U.S. by any doctor who accepts Medicare.

Do you have Original Medicare and will be traveling abroad or going on a cruise?

In general, health care isn’t covered when you’re traveling outside of the U.S. According to Medicare.gov, Original Medicare may pay for inpatient hospital, doctor, ambulance or dialysis you get in another country in these specific cases:

  • In some cases, Medicare Part B (medical insurance) may cover medically necessary health care services you get on board a ship within the territorial waters adjoining the land areas of the U.S. Medicare won’t pay for health care services you get when a ship is more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port.
  • You’re traveling through Canada without unreasonable delay by the most direct route between Alaska and another state when a medical emergency occurs, and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency.

If you’re traveling outside of the U.S. and have a Medicare Advantage plan, your coverage will depend on the type of plan you have. Some Medicare Advantage plans are more flexible than others and allow you to see health care providers outside of your network to obtain care. All Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network Medicare Advantage plans cover emergency and urgent care when you travel in and outside the U.S. with BlueCard Worldwide.

A good rule of thumb is to check your plan benefits to see what costs and rules apply before you travel outside the U.S. For Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members, click here for a synopsis of what’s covered.

Interested in learning more about Medicare plans? You may want to read:

Medicare Plus BlueSM, Blue Cross® Medicare Private Fee for Service, BCN AdvantageSM and Prescription BlueSM are PPO, PFFS, HMO-POS, HMO and PDP plans with Medicare contracts. Enrollment in Medicare Plus Blue, Blue Cross Medicare Private Fee for Service, BCN Advantage and Prescription Blue depends on contract renewal.

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