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Medicare Recipients and Travel

Medicare Recipients and Travel

Are Boomer clients aware that Medicare stops at the Border? The exposure to financial harm is high for anyone traveling outside the United States, especially for seniors who are on Medicare, since Medicare stops at the border except for limited circumstances. If your clients have a Medicare Supplement, there is some relief for emergency medical care, but that too has limits – they can very easily exceed the limit causing them to dip into their retirement savings.

The lifetime maximum for foreign travel coverage outside the United States on Medicare Supplement policies is $50,000. This amount can easily exceed when traveling. Without Travel Medical Insurance, your Medicare clients are required to pay for services at the time they receive them. However, if they have travel medical insurance, those issues are handled by the travel insurance company, not them. A call to the customer service line of their selected insurance company is all that is necessary to begin the payment process.

When people think of travel insurance, they’re typically thinking of travel delays and baggage problems. Admittedly, cancelled flights and lost baggage are a few travel inconveniences that travelers have no control over, but one thing your clients can control is having the security of knowing that if they need medical care outside the country, they can be properly covered.

Here are some questions that your clients need answered. “Who should I buy it from; the tour operator, the travel agent or a travel insurance specialist? What type of travel insurance coverage should I buy; Medical Evacuation, Travel Medical or Trip Cancellation? When is the best time to buy travel insurance?”

Buying Travel Insurance

Most, but not all, tour operators and travel agents do not hold the proper insurance licenses to offer all types of travel insurance, so they are limited in their offerings. Your clients should keep that in mind when they are being asked to purchase travel insurance. When booking any travel, one should ask if travel insurance is already included in the rate. They should ask for an outline of coverage and certainly ask about the medical insurance portion of the policy, if any. If it’s not what they want, then they must opt out of the program.

What type of travel insurance is right for Medicare Recipients?

Travel Medical insurance policy should have trip cancellation or interruption rider. This type of policy will give your Medicare clients the protection on both sides of the potential problem areas which are international medical care, travel delays, interruptions, lost luggage, etc.

When to purchase travel insurance?

The best time to buy travel insurance is between 1 to 14 days of putting down the initial deposit on your clients trip. This will normally qualify for coverage for any pre-existing medical conditions, especially for Medicare recipients.

About Patricia Grace

Patricia Grace
Patricia Grace, founder & CEO, Aging with Grace, a national eldercare assistance program. Ms. Grace is the host of the weekly radio program, Aging with Grace, on BTR and the National Senior Care Examiner on Patricia Grace can be reached at

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