Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap policies, are a must for the frequent international traveler. One of the best things about retirement is being able to travel abroad—you have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want and stay as long as you want. What you might not know is that traditional Medicare coverage is very limited outside of the United States, and you don’t want to find yourself basically uninsured in the unfortunate case of an accident or illness while on vacation. According to Medicare.gov, “the term ‘outside the U.S.’ means anywhere other than the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.”
The Benefit Link can help educate you on the level of coverage you have– and the level of coverage you need. Medicare supplement plans C, D, F, G M and N have different levels of coverage for foreign travel health care needs and emergencies. It is important to understand what your plan will and will not cover and weigh your short- and long-term benefits and costs. Insurance carriers can help explain the differences between these plans, but we recommend being prepared with questions. The Benefit Link offers free, ongoing support to seniors and has access to practically all major insurance providers and their plans.
There are additional benefits to purchasing supplemental insurance, too. Medicare Part B preventive coinsurance and Part A hospital coinsurance costs (up to another year after Medicare benefits are used up) are covered by all the Medigap plans. For those who need to see doctors or specialists on a regular basis, whether at home or while traveling, it makes sense to purchase supplemental insurance when the copayments cost more than the premium for the Medigap plan would.
You have options. In addition to factoring in your monthly budget, consider whether you’re taking a short vacation, have some longer trips scheduled or are contemplating a more permanent move. If you’re attending a wedding in Europe this winter, perhaps all you need is travel insurance. If you want to retire there, however, you’ll need to arrange for insurance coverage with the host country. The Benefit Link can help you decide what kind of healthcare coverage fits your retirement plans.
If you think a Medicare supplement plan is right for you or need help deciding what coverage you need or can afford, call The Benefit Link at (972) BEN-EFIT for objective guidance and advice.