The Original Medicare generally does not provide coverage for healthcare expenses during foreign travel. The citizens who travel overseas frequently will, therefore, need to purchase the appropriate Medicare Supplement plans which cover these international healthcare expenses. It is also highly recommended for citizens who live near the border and the nearest hospital which can effectively and immediately treat them is outside the US. Details of the Medigap plans which provide emergency healthcare expenses during foreign travel are as follows:
Ideal Medicare Supplement Plans for Foreign Travel
The Original Medicare covers healthcare expenses during foreign travel in only limited situations. The customers will need to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan which provides coverage for international healthcare expenses if they travel abroad frequently. These Medigap policies are issued by private insurance companies and can assist the customers in covering their out-of-pocket costs like cost-sharing and emergency healthcare expenses while foreign travel. Six Medigap plans- C, D, F, G, M, and N provide coverage for healthcare expenses in foreign countries. These six Medigap plans provide coverage for emergency healthcare expenses in foreign countries for US citizens during the first 60 days after their leaving the US if the same is not covered by the Original Medicare. The customers need to pay an annual deductible amount of $250 after which these plans will cover 80% of the total billed charges for certain emergency procedures. It is also important to note that the foreign travel emergency coverage under the Medicare Supplement plans have a lifetime benefit of maximum of $50,000.
In addition to the six Medigap plans mentioned above, four old plans – E, H, I, and J also provide coverage for foreign travel. These four plans are no longer sold presently, but if the customers have purchased these plans before January 1, 2010, they can keep them for availing healthcare benefits during foreign travel.
Best Time to Apply
The customers should ensure that they apply for the Medigap policies during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). This ensures that the insurance companies will have to sell them the policies as long as they pay the premium. The company cannot refuse to sell the policy even if the applicant has a pre-existing health condition. If the OEP has ended, the customers should verify if they meet the conditions for guaranteed-issue rights so that the policy is issued to them. This will ensure that the customers get to purchase their preferred Medigap policy which will cover the international emergency healthcare expenses.