After our bout of cold weather in January, I have decided to “snowbird” and rent a condo in Florida every January through March. I have Medicare parts A and B. My supplement is a Medigap Plan F. I also have a Part D drug plan. Will this suffice?
Original Medicare — Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical/outpatient care) — is a national program. Original Medicare is accepted throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories. Like Medicare, a Medigap policy will pay for Medicare-approved services throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Medigap plan you carry, Medigap Plan F, also has a foreign emergency travel benefit.
Check with your Part D drug plan to see if it provides nationwide coverage. If you have nationwide coverage, you may use your Part D drug plan in Florida. It would be advised you work with your Part D drug plan to find a network or preferred pharmacy that is located conveniently to your winter home in Florida.
If your Part D drug plan does not provide nationwide coverage, you may want to fill a 90-day supply of your medicines while in Maryland prior to leaving for Florida. During next year’s open enrollment for Part D (which occurs every Oct. 15 through Dec. 7), you may want to change to a Part D drug plan with nationwide coverage.
I just purchased an RV and will be traveling across the country for two months. I carry a Medicare Advantage plan and was wondering if this coverage will suffice.
Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative way to receive your Medicare coverage. You still are enrolled into Medicare, but you receive your health benefits through a private company that is approved by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans are often Health Maintenance Organizations or Preferred Provider Organizations. HMOs and PPOs have a network of contracted providers. HMOs require you to obtain your coverage within their network of providers. PPOs allow some flexibility to use providers outside their network; however, you have to pay higher out-of-pocket costs when doing so.
Typically, Medicare Advantage plans design their coverage within a regional catchment area. Medicare Advantage plans will cover emergency care outside their catchment area. However, you will want to pay special attention to what is, or is not, covered for nonemergency care outside your catchment area. You will want to contact your plan for specific details about your coverage while you travel.
If you are planning to venture outside the U.S. in your RV, please be advised that most Medicare Advantage plans do not cover emergency care outside the U.S.
Amy Rubino is the director of the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program and the Senior Medicare Patrol for the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities. You may contact either program at 410-222-4257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original Author: Amy Rubino
Original Date: Feb 25 2018