Traveling Abroad With Medicare? What You Need To Know About Your Medigap Coverage

Are you one of the millions of seniors planning an international adventure? If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan, you might already have some coverage for medical emergencies abroad. But a common question is “Do Medicare Supplement plans cover international travel?”. Before you board that plane, let’s explore what your Medigap plan truly covers and whether you need additional protection.

Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover International Travel?

Not all Medigap plans offer the same coverage when it comes to international travel. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Eligible Plans: Only Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M, and N provide coverage for emergency medical care outside the U.S. If you have another plan, you’ll need additional travel insurance. However, keep in mind that the Medigap plans that offer a foreign travel benefit only cover 80% of expenses, and that’s up to plan limits.
  • Limited Duration: Medigap coverage for foreign travel emergencies typically lasts for the first 60 days of your trip. After that, you’ll be responsible for 100% of your medical costs.
  • Financial Limits: There’s also a lifetime limit of $50,000 for foreign travel emergency coverage under Medigap.
  • Deductible: You’ll need to meet a $250 annual deductible before your Medigap coverage kicks in for foreign travel emergencies.
  • Coverage Amount: Medigap plans typically cover 80% of the cost of eligible emergency medical services abroad, leaving you responsible for the remaining 20%.

What Medigap Doesn’t Cover Abroad

  • Non-Emergency Care: Medigap plans generally don’t cover routine check-ups, preventive care, or treatment for pre-existing conditions while traveling abroad.
  • Certain Emergencies: Medigap may not cover all types of emergencies, so it’s important to read your plan documents carefully.

Should You Get Additional Travel Insurance?

The U.S. Department of State encourages all travelers to learn what medical services their
health insurance will cover overseas and mentions that Medicare and Medicaid do not cover medical
costs abroad. Clearly, it’s important to make sure you have medical coverage outside the U.S.

Even with Medigap’s foreign travel emergency coverage, you might want to consider additional travel medical insurance for the following reasons:

  • Longer Trips: If you’re traveling for more than 60 days, additional insurance can provide ongoing coverage.
  • Comprehensive Protection: Travel medical insurance often covers a wider range of medical services and situations than Medigap, including pre-existing conditions.
  • Higher Limits: If you’re worried about the $50,000 lifetime limit on Medigap coverage, additional insurance can provide higher limits for medical expenses.

RELATED: Top Travel Tips For Seniors

Before You Go:

  • Review Your Medigap Plan: Understand the specific details of your plan’s foreign travel emergency coverage.
  • Consider Your Needs: Assess your individual health needs, trip duration, and planned activities to determine if additional insurance is necessary.
  • Research Travel Medical Insurance Options: Compare different plans to find the one that best suits your requirements and budget.

Remember, traveling with peace of mind means knowing you’re protected against unexpected medical expenses. By understanding your Medigap coverage and considering additional travel insurance, you can confidently embark on your next international adventure.

Get the Coverage You Need for Less Than You Might Expect

The good news is that travel medical insurance plans can be affordable. GeoBlue® international health
insurance plans help you access care—and protect your wallet—when you’re traveling the world.

Here’s what GeoBlue plans offer:

  • Up to $1 million in coverage for less than $4 a day
  • Guaranteed enrollment, with coverage up to age 95
  • Options include coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Medical evacuation and unlimited telemedicine coverage
  • Coverage for trips up to 6 months
  • Lock in at current rates—purchase up to 6 months in advance with no cancellation penalty

Interested in learning more? Visit GeoBlue to find the exact right plan for you.


Disclosure: GeoBlue is the trade name of Worldwide Insurance Services, LLC (Worldwide Services Insurance Agency, LLC in California and New York), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. GeoBlue is the administrator of coverage provided under insurance policies issued by 4 Ever Life International Limited, Bermuda, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

South Dakota residents: GeoBlue is the trade name of Worldwide Insurance Services, LLC (Worldwide
Services Insurance Agency, LLC in California and New York), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross
and Blue Shield Association and is made available in cooperation with Blue Cross and Blue Shield
companies in select service areas. Coverage is provided under insurance policies underwritten by 4 Ever
Life Insurance Company, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois NAIC #80985 under policy form series

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