Expatriate medical insurance and overseas travel insurance for those with U.S. Medicare – Part 1. In this three-part series, we will be talking about the different parts of U.S. Medicare and what it means to you as an expat or long-term traveler residing and traveling outside the U.S.
Let’s start our three-part series, this being part 1:
(1) Provide the best expatriate web page at https://www.gninsurance.com/long-term-international-health-insurance, with many different overseas medical insurance options for those residing outside the U.S. for over 12 months, and…
(2) Provide the best travel medical insurance web page at https://www.gninsurance.com/international-travel-health-insurance-plans, with many different travel insurance options for those traveling up to 12 months outside the U.S., and lastly…
(3) Explain key components of U.S. Medicare for you.
U.S. Medicare may seem like a “maze” but rest assured it isn’t.
Good Neighbor Insurance has provided overseas medical insurance to those living and travel outside their country of citizenship/residence since 1997. Over the years we have received (and answered!) a lot of great questions about U.S. Medicare from our American clients abroad.
We have compiled the following information for our clients who are turning 65 in the next few months so that they can begin to think about decisions they (and you) may need to make soon, within 30 days either before, or after, your 65th birthday.
Five things to keep in mind as we go through this U.S. Medicare series with you, our client:
- All information below is the latest that we have, and is to the best of our knowledge – It is not “the final word.”
- Two places that have the final word on U.S. Medicare:
- The U.S. government has done a fabulous job in making medicare.gov an “easy read” as well as an up-to-date information source for all of your U.S. Medicare questions. We are very pleased and proud to say that their web site is very good! You can find great information that will be relevant to your questions when it comes to U.S. Medicare.
- Since Medicare Part C MA (Medicare Advantage) is regulated primarily through each state in the USA, we highly recommend that you connect with a local agent in the State you usually reside in when in the USA, to get the most up-to-date information on Medicare, especially when it comes to Medicare Part C MA.
- All information in this series is the most up-to-date information we have at the time of this writing which was January 2018.
- Good Neighbor Insurance is not an authority on U.S. Medicare programs. Our goal is to provide you the best information we have. A good place to verify, as shared above, is medicare.gov. Also verify any questions/answers with a local authorized agent (who provides Medicare coverage options) in your own state.
- Medicare benefits do NOT cover you outside of the USA.
- Yes, there is one little (and I mean little) part of Medicare Part C Medicare Gap / Medicare Supplement that covers you depending on the plan you choose. [As of this writing, the amount covered for medical care overseas is $50,000 but you will have to pay 20 percent of that in coinsurance with a deductible. Example: Out of a $80,000 l you will have to pay $10,000 plus deductible on $50,000 of that amount, plus you will be responsible for the $30,000 in additional expense. This is why we say that Medicare does not cover you outside the U.S.
- We strongly advise choosing a long-term expatriate medical insurance plan at https://www.gninsurance.com/long-term-international-health-insurance or a travel medical insurance plan for travel under one year from https://www.gninsurance.com/international-travel-health-insurance-plans. You may want to consider a plan with coverage for pre-existing conditions. Call us at 480-813-9100 with any questions on the best coverage to fit your specific needs.
- Medicare does NOT include any medical evacuation benefits. This is one of the key reasons of having expatriate insurance or a travel medical insurance plan. Medical evacuation, also called medical transportation, is a vital overseas medical insurance benefit included in all of Good Neighbor Insurance policies. Please note that Good Neighbor Insurance is an international brokerage firm that provides many different international insurance options from many international medical insurance companies.
- Lastly, this three-part series will discuss U.S. Medicare information. Some may have retirement medical insurance from a state, or other type of grandfathered medical insurance program. This series will not address those types of coverage. (If you have that coverage you will probably know it. Those coverages are very few and thus most Americans, or those who have put monies into the U.S. Medicare system will have standard U.S. Medicare options.)
- We are primarily concerned about U.S. Medicare for:
- People age 65 or older,
- People who will be 65 in 90 days or have turned 65 less than 90 days ago – Who need to sign up
- People who will be turning 65 soon, and who need to make decisions about signing up so they do not miss the enrollment window
- People who may miss important notifications in the mail, due to their overseas status.
- Learning Tip –
- The basic criteria for automatic enrollment require that the individual:
- be aged 65 or older (or be within 90 days of his/her 65th birthday),
- must be a U.S. Citizen or legal resident of the United States,
- must have resided in the United States for at least five (5) years, and
- must have worked at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment
- Individuals who are automatically enrolled will receive their Medicare card via U.S. Mail at some point during the 3-month period prior to their 65th
- covered individuals who are automatically enrolled must choose to reject coverage under Part B if they do not wish to carry that coverage and return the Medicare card to CMS.
- If the card is not returned, the individual will remain enrolled in Part B and be obligated to pay the appropriate premium for that coverage.
- Non-Automatic Enrollment
- Individuals who are otherwise eligible for Medicare, but who do not qualify for automatic enrollment, must apply through the Social Security program.
- This includes individuals who:
- do not receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits (e.g. because they are still working);
- live in Puerto Rico and wish coverage under Part B;
- qualify for Medicare due to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) but who have not yet reached age 65;
- any individual under the age of 65 who has been on SSDI for at least 24 months, or longer; and
- any individual over the age of 65 who is not otherwise eligible for Medicare but wishes to pay the appropriate premium and purchase coverage under Medicare.
- If unsure, go talk to your social security office in the city / state / location you usually reside when in the USA (The state you place on your annual tax form).
- Fun Tip – Does Medicare Part A cover for a wide screen TV in my hospital room? Answer – No! But it does cover for general nursing, Rx while I am an inpatient treatment, and for a semi-private room hospital room.
- The basic criteria for automatic enrollment require that the individual:
- Medicare Part A
- Everyone who pays in gets this at the first day of the month of their 65th birthday
- “Free.” Paid all through one’s life via income taxes.
- No premium cost
- Only covers if you are in the hospital
- Learning Tip – There are multiple funding streams which finance the Medicare system.
Medicare Part A is, generally, available at no premium cost to eligible individuals. Instead, the costs of Part A are paid for by a payroll tax known as FICA (from the Federal Insurance Contributions Act) which is charged at a total rate of 2.9% of gross earnings. Employers and employees each pay one-half of this amount (or 1.45% of gross earnings).
www.gninsurance.com is the corporate website of Good Neighbor Insurance. Good Neighbor Insurance has been in business since 1997! Every one of our international trained and licensed insurance agents has a heart to serve you, our guests. It is a joy to know that we can provide you all with peace of mind with one of our many overseas medical insurance options to safe guard from financial calamity as well as providing you the best medical care while on your short-term travels or long-term expatriate travels. To connect with Good Neighbor Insurance, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us here in our Gilbert, Arizona office at 480-633-9500 or toll free at 866-636-9100.