Healthcare & Health Insurance for 50+ Travelers

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Knowing about healthcare and health insurance for 50-Plus Travelers is important. We have Medicare and AARP supplemental which provide coverage wherever we are in the U.S. Pat had a major horse accident in Texas, and the EMS worker asked for her Medicare number, and from that point on we never saw a bill.

 

Our AARP Rx plan happens to be connected to Walgreens and they’re everywhere in the US, so we can get our meds wherever we are. However, knowing we are going to be traveling outside of the US for an extended time, Adam gets a “vacation override” for his monthly medications, and is able to get enough for when we’re out of the country. You should do this in advance of your trip so that it isn’t “last minute.”

For people under age 65 with private insurance, you need to check your policy or with your insurance company about coverage away from your permanent address, including what they cover for emergencies (particularly those who have HMO’s and/or are covered under the Affordable Care Act). Every policy is different, so you need to check.

Health insurance coverage outside the U.S. is a whole different story. Sometimes your health insurance plans cover emergencies or even visits to healthcare providers when you travel. Medicare and our AARP supplemental have extremely limited or no coverage for travel outside the U.S., so we purchase international travelers’ insurance, especially when traveling in countries with “not great” healthcare.

 

With international health insurance, you want to be covered for “emergency evacuation” -- that is, if you have an emergency and want to be evacuated back to the U.S. We have a friend who was seriously injured abroad while on a trek and had to be airlifted out of the country. His evacuation rider covered everything.

 

There are a bunch of health insurance companies for intern'l travelers, and one that we've used is World Nomads. If you google “international health insurance,” they'll pop up, including CIGNA.

If you get sick while traveling, every country has different rules and payment fees for foreigners to see physicians. If you're health insurance just covers ER visits, you'll have to pay out-of-pocket for private doctors and dentists.

 

And finally, some countries allow you to buy certain prescription medicines directly from a pharmacist without a prescription. Again, do your research.