Medicare generally does not cover medical care that you receive while travelling outside the U.S. and its territories. However, Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans must cover care you receive outside the U.S. in certain circumstances:
- Medicare will pay for emergency services in Canada if you are traveling a direct route, without unreasonable delay, between Alaska and another state, and the closest hospital that can treat you is in Canada.
- Medicare will pay for medical care you get on a cruise ship if you get the care while the ship is in U.S. territorial waters. This means that the ship is in a U.S. port or within six hours of arrival or departure from a U.S. port.
- In limited situations, Medicare may pay for non-emergency inpatient services in a foreign hospital (and any connected provider and ambulance costs). Your care is covered if the hospital is closer to your residence than the nearest available U.S. hospital. This may happen if, for example, you live near the border of Mexico or Canada.
Some Medigap policies provide coverage for travel abroad. Medigap plans C through G, M, and N cover 80% of the cost of emergency care abroad. Check with your policy for specific coverage rules. Medicare Advantage Plans may also cover emergency care abroad. Contact your plan for more information about its costs and coverage rules.
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