Does Medicare Cover Patients Outside United States?

The short answer to the question of Medicare covering patients outside the United States is “No”.  Unless you are in the U.S. or its territories (Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands) you are generally out of luck.  However, there are a few situations that can change this.

   1.  Patients living in the U.S. near a foreign hospital, that are in need of emergency or non-emergency medical treatment. If a foreign hospital is closer or easier to get to from the patient’s home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the condition, Medicare may pay for the services.

   2.  Patients living in the U.S. when they have a medical emergency. If a foreign hospital is closer or easier to get to than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency, Medicare may pay for the services.

   3.  The patient is crossing through Canada without delay between Alaska and another state, and they have a medical emergency. If a Canadian hospital is closer or easier to get to than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat the emergency, Medicare may pay for the services.

The most important thing to remember is that you are covered as long as you are home.  If you must leave home you may want to arrange short-term coverage through someone else.

One Response to Does Medicare Cover Patients Outside United States?

  • Eva SAngiorgo says:

    I have a patient admittet to our ward here in Denmark who is an American citizen and has medicare. She has suffered a stroke. Does medicare cover her hospitalisation and her home trip or not. Am trying to be of assistence to her husbond. yours sincerely Eva Sangiorgio

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