Medicare Advantage plans must cover certain services anywhere in the United States, without additional costs. However, coverage may vary depending on the plan. Original Medicare has a set standard for costs and coverage across the country, while Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurers and may have limited coverage to a certain area. Everyone's travel and healthcare needs are different, so it is important to check and compare your coverage options carefully.
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) offers coverage anywhere in the United States. In most states, Medigap plans will have the same letter names across all insurance companies and offer the same coverage. This period allows people with Medicare Advantage to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or switch to Original Medicare. For domestic travel, Medicare requires a travel benefit to cover at least 6 months of out-of-network care, no matter where or when you go.
The federal government requires annual open enrollment for Medicare Advantage in all states that matches enrollment in Original Medicare. However, outside the country, most medical services will not be covered, except in special circumstances. It is important to understand that even though it is a federal program, Medicare coverage, costs, and benefits can vary widely from state to state. An interactive flowchart can help answer all your questions about navigating the Medicare enrollment process.