Are accidents in a foreign country covered by Medicare?

Rwc asked...

A US citizen and resident, over the age of 75, had an accident in Europe while travelling and received emergency surgery and post op care in Europe -- are this episode and expenses covered by this person's Medicare? [ Community Member, rwc

Expert Answer

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn't cover any medical care in Europe, but a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan or a Medigap supplemental insurance policy might.

Regular Medicare  doesn't cover any medical care outside the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. In an emergency, if you are in the U.S. but a Canadian or Mexican hospital is closer, Medicare can cover your treatment there. There's no coverage in Europe, even for an emergency. But if you belong to a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage managed care plan, the plan might cover some emergency care while you're traveling abroad. There's no Medicare rule requiring a Medicare Advantage plan to cover foreign travel, so it depends entirely on the terms of the plan you're enrolled in. Also, many private Medigap supplemental insurance policies (those under Plans C through J) cover emergency medical care while traveling abroad. These policies usually pay 80 percent of costs after you pay a $250 deductible.

If you don't have a Medicare Advantage plan or Medigap policy that covers foreign travel, you might consider buying a short-term travel insurance policy that covers you during a specific trip. You can arrange for one of these policies through a travel agent.