Does Medicare Cover Me When Traveling Abroad? (2024)

Planning to travel during your retirement years? Whether you’re headed out of town, out of state or out of the country, make sure you're covered should you need healthcare away from home.

Does Medicare cover me while I travel?

Many older adults look forward to fulfilling their travel bucket list during retirement, but Medicare may not be along for the ride.

If you have Medicare coverage, you won’t be reimbursed for international medical bills. Healthcare services received beyond U.S. borders are not covered.

Medicare may cover inpatient hospital costs, ambulance services or dialysis for the following circ*mstances:

  1. You are in the U.S. when emergency treatment is needed and the closest hospital is in a foreign country (e.g., Canada or Mexico).
  2. You are traveling through Canada between Alaska and another state (via the most direct route) when an emergency situation occurs and the closest hospital is in Canada.
  3. You are a U.S. resident, but a foreign hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S. location that can treat your condition, regardless of whether it is an emergency.1

In any of these situations, the foreign hospital is not required to file a Medicare claim. Be prepared to submit an itemized bill to Medicare just in case.2

Your Medicare coverage follows you if you travel to:

  • Another state in the U.S
  • District of Columbia
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • American Samoa

Explore Humana Medicare Advantage plans

Humana Medicare Advantage plans offer benefits beyond what Original Medicare covers. Explore all of the plans available in your area!

Going on a cruise?

While on a cruise in international waters, you may be covered for medically-necessary care if the ship is within 6 hours of a U.S. port.3 Most liners have medical personnel on staff, but check with the cruise company before departure if you’re concerned about available medical care.

Do Medicare Supplement plans offer coverage while traveling?

Some Medicare Supplement insurance policies (also known as Medigap) do offer coverage for emergencies when traveling out-of-country. Medicare Supplement plans C, D, F, G, M and N cover some travel-abroad emergency help.4 No other Medicare Supplement plans provide foreign travel emergency coverage. Medigap plans can only be combined with Original Medicare.

How can I make sure I’m covered while abroad or away?

Since Medicare coverage and international travel do not necessarily go hand in hand, people who plan to leave the country should check their private insurance plan to determine what kind of services they could receive abroad—and at what expense.

Travel health insurance (not simply a travel insurance policy, as many don’t include healthcare insurance) may be a worthwhile investment if you expect to be outside the U.S. often during your retirement years, especially if you have health conditions that could require continual care and services, specific medical supplies, prescription drugs or treatments.5


  1. “Medicare Coverage Outside the United States,”, last accessed December 29, 2023,,PDF.
  2. “Medicare Coverage Outside the United States.”
  3. “Medicare & You: Traveling Abroad,” last accessed December 29, 2023,
  4. “Medigap & Travel,”, last accessed December 29, 2023,
  5. “Medicare Coverage Outside the United States.”

How can we help?

Call us

Licensed Humana sales agents are available Monday–Friday, 8a.m.–8p.m.

1-888-204-4062 (TTY: 711)

1-888-204-4062 (TTY: 711)

See plans in your area

Enter your ZIP code below to see plans with their premiums, copays, and participating doctors and pharmacies.

Request a call

Our licensed Humana sales agents are available to help you select the coverage that best meets your needs.

Does Medicare Cover Me When Traveling Abroad? (2024)


Does Medicare Cover Me When Traveling Abroad? ›

Many older adults look forward to fulfilling their travel bucket list during retirement, but Medicare may not be along for the ride. If you have Medicare coverage, you won't be reimbursed for international medical bills. Healthcare services received beyond U.S. borders are not covered.

Am I covered by Medicare if I travel abroad? ›

In most situations, Medicare won't pay for health care or supplies you get outside the U.S. 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.

Do I need special health insurance when traveling abroad? ›

Generally, most domestic health insurance policies are not accepted abroad, so there is a benefit to purchasing travel medical insurance as a supplement to your health insurance coverage. The travel medical coverage is only valid while you're traveling.

Should you take your Medicare card on vacation? ›

Unfortunately, accidents happen. And sometimes people get sick on vacation. Keep your Medicare card with you so it's handy and secure in case you need it. Also, leave a copy of your health care insurance with a loved one so they can send it to you if you lose yours.

Does Medicare cover out of state visits? ›

Travel within the U.S.

If you have Original Medicare, you have coverage anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. This includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Most doctors and hospitals take Original Medicare.

What countries accept US Medicare and Medicare? ›

The 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa are considered part of the U.S. Anywhere else is considered outside the U.S. Medicare drug plans don't cover prescription drugs you buy outside the U.S.

What happens if you have a medical emergency abroad? ›

The nearest US embassy or consulate can help travelers locate medical services and notify your friends, family, or employer of an emergency. They are available for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, overseas and in Washington, DC (888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444).

What is the best medical insurance for international travel? ›

Based on our comprehensive review, the companies offering the best travel medical insurance are Faye, IMG, Travelex, AIG Travel Guard and Allianz. Travel medical insurance is a specialized type of coverage that helps pay for medical bills and emergency evacuations if you're hurt or become sick while traveling.

Will my US health insurance cover me in Europe? ›

U.S. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover medical costs overseas. Private U.S. insurance policies also might not cover any or all expenses. Check with your insurance before traveling to see if it provides coverage overseas. More information is also available on the CDC insurance page.

How much medical coverage do I need for international travel? ›

How much travel medical insurance do you need? Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, recommends buying at least $50,000 in emergency medical coverage for international travel. For travelers going on a cruise or to a remote destination, the site recommends at least $100,000 in coverage.

What happens if you go to the hospital in a foreign country? ›

The U.S. government does not pay overseas medical bills. The patient must pay all hospital and other expenses. You can find lists of doctors and hospitals in the country you are visiting. Check the website of the U.S. embassy in the country you are visiting.

What happens if an American goes to the hospital in Europe? ›

Be aware that you will likely have to pay out of pocket for any medical treatment, even if your insurance company provides international health care coverage. A visit to the emergency room can be free or cost only a nominal fee, or it can be expensive, depending on where you are and what treatment you need.

Which medicare advantage plans cover international travel? ›

Medicare Supplement Insurance and International Travel

Most Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (Medigap plans) can include emergency medical coverage in a foreign country. Medigap Plans C, D, G, M, and N, currently being sold, will cover medically necessary care in a foreign country.

What does Medicare not cover? ›

Generally, most vision, dental and hearing services are not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. Other services not covered by Medicare Parts A and B include: Routine foot care. Cosmetic surgery.

Do I really need supplemental insurance with Medicare? ›

You might wonder why you would need supplemental insurance if you have Medicare. However, while Medicare covers a large share of your health care bills, it will not pay for everything. That's where having some extra insurance can help.

How much is travel insurance? ›

What does travel insurance cost? While travel insurance costs vary, the average is somewhere between 4-12% of your total trip cost*. If you're on the fence, then consider this: an emergency situation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the insurance plan might be a fraction of your trip cost.

Can I keep my Medicare benefit if live abroad? ›

Medicare generally does not cover health services outside the United States. If you move outside the United States: Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), is available to you if you return. No monthly premium is withheld from your Social Security benefit payment for this protection.

How much does travel medical insurance cost? ›

The average cost of a standard travel insurance policy is $221, according to research conducted by the MarketWatch Guides team. However, the destination, number of travelers, trip price and more can affect the exact cost of a policy.

Do Americans need travel insurance? ›

But even if travel insurance is not required, the U.S. Department of State highly recommends purchasing a policy to cover unexpected medical expenses while you're overseas.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated:

Views: 6295

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.