Medicare coverage outside the United States

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover you outside of the U.S. Some Medicare Advantage plans do provide emergency coverage for foreign travel.

If you have Original Medicare and are traveling or living outside the U.S., you can keep it active so long as any premiums are paid and up to date. You then can use this coverage when you are back in the U.S. Maintaining it will also allow you to avoid possible late re-enrollment penalties when you are back in the U.S. full-time. If you have a private Medigap plan, continue paying those premiums, too. Some Medigap plans cover emergency care outside the U.S., so check with your plan.

If  you have a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D drug plan, check with the private insurers who provide your coverage. See if they provide any coverage outside the U.S. Also, if  you kept paying these premiums, would you be covered right away if you traveled back to the U.S. for care? Odds are you would if  you maintained your U.S. address. However, if you are living abroad,  you might need to establish new U .S. residency, and perhaps wait for coverage to take effect.

Cancelling private MA and Part D plans also can expose  you to late enrollment penalties upon returning to the U.S.