Original Medicare usually doesn’t cover health care while you’re traveling outside the U.S. and its territories. There are some exceptions, including some cases where Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) may pay for services that you get on board a ship within the territorial waters adjoining the land areas of the U.S.

Medicare may pay for inpatient hospital, doctor, ambulance services, or dialysis you get in a foreign country in only a few rare cases, including the following:

  • You’re in the U.S. when a medical emergency occurs that requires immediate medical attention to prevent a disability or death, and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition.
  • 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.
  • You live in the U.S., and the foreign hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition, regardless of whether an emergency exists.

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer international travel benefits. If you have Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M or N, your plan:

  • Covers foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip and if Medicare doesn’t otherwise cover the care.
  • Pays 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year.
  • Foreign travel emergency coverage with Medigap policies has a lifetime limit of $50,000.

Before you travel outside the U.S., talk with your Medicare Advantage, Medigap plan, or insurance agent to get more information about your travel benefits.

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