Traveling with Medicare Advantage: What You Need to Know
July 20, 2022 | Andrea Bassett
Are you eager to check off a list of desired places on your travel bucket list? We look forward to hearing about your plans! As you buy your tickets and pack your bags, here are some planning considerations for traveling with Medicare Advantage plans.
We will focus on traveling with Medicare Advantage plans, and the best pre-trip planning tips.
How Does Your Medicare Plan Travel?
Previously we focused on traveling with Original Medicare and Medigap Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage clients will have a different set of rules and expectations.
Not all Advantage Plans travel in the same way. Make sure you know your plan’s rules and expectations. It is important to be prepared in the event of an accident or a medical event when you are away from home.
Selecting a plan with adequate coverage when leaving your service area will be a significant factor if you plan to winter or vacation for longer than a couple of weeks. At Twin City Underwriters, we work with you to ensure you have appropriate access to care while traveling.
Traveling with Medicare Advantage
In general, Medicare Advantage plans have a specific network that you need to adhere to. If you receive care from an in-network provider while traveling, you can expect your standard cost sharing. If you end up seeing a provider who is out-of-network, you will incur higher cost sharing. All Medicare Advantage plans will allow access to care in an emergency situation.
Travel Planning Considerations
Do you have chronic conditions and/or have needs for care regularly? You will want to consider your medication supply before your trip. Is there a in-network pharmacy to use on the road or at your destination if needed?
Secondly, consider which areas you visit often. Are you familiar with the providers in the area and their network status?
A Note About Cost Plans: If you have a Medicare Cost plan, when you are out-of-network, your plan allows you to see any provider who takes Medicare. This is a unique provision of Cost plans and gives you wider travel access across the US.
Kari Mellone, Twin City Underwriters Agent Manager, has spoken to dozens of clients over the years who successfully travel on a regular basis or one-off trips. “Provider and carrier contracts matter” she says. “Where there are networks like a PPO (Physician Provider Organization), we can help you research an area’s hospitals and clinics ahead of time to make access easier.”
If your plan is not PPO based, there may still be provisions and options for travel coverage. At Twin City Underwriters, we study these benefits, share resources, and make advisement so you feel empowered in an emergency or accident.
Travel Outside the United States
Some Advantage plans feature concierge-like services to support you when you are traveling overseas. Short-term travel policies are available for overseas trips. These policies are all-inclusive for many healthcare concerns in various parts of the world and feature high levels of coverage.
Choosing a Medicare plan can be difficult. Twin City Underwriters helps Medicare recipients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Florida find the Medicare plan that meets their unique needs. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of our Medicare insurance brokers to get your questions answered!