If You Are a Senior Who Plans to Travel this Year, Do Not Miss The Tips You Need on Health Care Coverage

It may still be the beginning of the year, but summer is fast approaching. For this common traveling period, many airline companies are offering great deals on airfare that many of us are taking advantage of. Whether you are planning for a family get-together or an exotic vacation abroad, do not forget to think about your health care coverage!

Many of us do not realize that we may not be covered by our health insurance policies abroad. This can create significant financial stress for you in the event that you are involved in an accident or become seriously ill during your travels. We want you to have a safe and healthy trip, but if you do need to visit medical professionals, let us share a few tips to help make sure you are protected.

1. Evaluate your current policy.

The first step is to determine whether you are already covered under your existing health care policy. We encourage you to contact your health insurance provider and ask specific questions, such as “Can you guarantee that medical payments will be accepted abroad?” “Does my current plan cover emergency expenses?” “Do you require any second opinions before payment is authorized?” These questions will help you get a clear answer to whether you are covered by your current policy. Remember, there are limitations to Medicare when it comes to traveling outside the United States.

2. Research short-term travel insurance plans.

Even if your current health care policy covers travel overseas, it may only protect you in certain situations. If this is the case, you may consider looking into short-term travel insurance plans. Before deciding on a plan, evaluate the type of coverage you will need. Are you planning on taking part in any extreme activities like water sports or hiking?  Are you anticipating a relaxed vacation and just want to be covered for any emergency illnesses or an unexpected accident? Once you have considered the type of coverage you are looking for, research each provider and be sure you understand the amount of coverage each plan provides, including any deductibles and copayments, as well as refund policies and exemption limits before committing.

3. Do not rely on your Medicare plan.

If you are planning a trip as an Older American, it is important to know that, with some exceptions, medical services you receive outside of the United States will not be covered by your Medicare plan. One way to help ensure you are covered is to purchase a Medigap insurance policy that covers emergency care received outside of the United States. Typically, this policy pays for 80 percent of charges for medical emergency care once you meet a $250 yearly deductible. Medigap policies, however, have a lifetime cap of $50,000.

There are many things to prepare for when planning a trip abroad, and your protection is one of them. If you have any questions about this or are ready to begin planning for your protection overseas, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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