Traveling With Medicare: Not As Covered As You Might Think

S.F. Ehrlich Associates |

February 15, 2019

If you’re a senior on Medicare and you get sick while traveling abroad, let us try to help you calculate your out-of-pocket expenses should you get ill. The answer: Probably every dime you’re charged will come out of your pocket.

As pointed out by Mary Beth Franklin writing in Investment News1: “Medicare…stops at the US border and even the most generous supplemental Medigap policy provides limited coverage overseas.” (NOTE to clients who are not on Medicare: your health insurance policies may not provide any coverage either.)

Franklin offers two options:

  • Travel insurance: Includes insurance for trip cancellation and trip interruption, along with lost luggage coverage. Most importantly, it includes medical coverage with minimal or no deduction, and medical evacuation coverage.
  • Medical only travel insurance: Includes medical evacuation and medical insurance.

Adds Franklin: “Travel insurance is a time-sensitive purchase. It’s best to purchase as soon as you book a trip.”



1 Franklin, Mary Beth. “Seniors Need Travel Insurance.” Investment News, 21 Jan. 2019, pp. 15–15.
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