Will Medicare cover my Mexico or Caribbean trip?

Getty Images

Medicare and Medicaid are Mediconfusing when you’re traveling internationally……

We have been getting questions from boomers who are back traveling again – but are concerned about health issues.

So, we dove into the Medicare rabbit hole to see if we could determine what Medicare actually covers when traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean.

In A Nutshell:   Does Medicare cover medical expenses outside the US?  The answer is No…. Except for certain circumstances….. So I guess that makes it a maybe.   Read on for more info on this boring – but critical – topic.

Here is what Medicare says so you know I am not day drinking:

“The simple answer is no. Medicare is only available to citizens and permanent residents of the USA who are residing in the USASome exceptions when Medicare may cover your expenses in a foreign country include; If you have a medical emergency and the foreign hospital is closer than the nearest US hospital.”


Since we never take ‘No’ for an answer….we kept on digging and found 2 pieces of info that cover the subject way better than we can.

Especially since reading the Medicare Guidelines is tantamount to getting a root canal and a colonoscopy….simultaneously.

Here is a good video on Youtube – Does Medicare cover International Travel:

And here is a link to a book by Ron Elledge, a Medicare expert who has spent his whole life studying the topic of Medicare and International Travel.  What a claim to fame……

Medicare Expert Ron Elledge’s key points when traveling abroad

He is pimping a $27 book, which I have not read.

But I did dig into his background and he does know his stuff.

You don’t have to buy the book to get Ron’s insight into what areas to pay attention to.   Just read his promo page.

I know – first hand – the cost of stubbing your toe outside the US – and having to get patched up.

As soon as you open your mouth in a foreign hospital – all the hospital staff hear is the sound a slot machine makes when its paying off $10,000 in quarters…..

So, if you have to go to the hospital outside the US, expect to max out your Credit Cards before they begin working on you.

I know its not fair…..and you will freak out….but that is just how it is.

No amount of wailing, stomping or your best intimidation tactics will phase them.

Also, if you have to fly back to the US for treatment – then $35k is typically the starting price before wheels up.

The good news is you can tell everyone you had your PJ (private jet) fly you back to the US.

So, if curling up with a Medicare Guide and consuming volumes about about Part A, B, C, D, F, Hi F, G, M and N makes you want to double down on your meds, I get it.

Just read over Ron’s advice then buy Check PricesTravel Insurance.   I know, I hate paying for insurance too…..  But I also hate not having insurance when I need it.

So pick your poison and git er’ done.

Hasta lu’ we go.


Don’t Miss:

Is Travel Insurance a Scam?
Current Hurricane Season Updates

Ask Us Anything!

"*" indicates required fields

About Jake Johnson 249 Articles
Jake Johnson is a full-time travel bum, who prefers warm climates where the women wear less clothing. We've tried to teach him things like manners and diplomacy, but we've given up and simply rely on our editors to remove the most offensive bits from his articles. We take no responsibility for his inane ramblings opinions - they are his own.
» Back to Top «
All products are independently selected by our editors, generally after a day of heavy drinking and debauchery. However, when you buy something through our retail links, there's no additional cost to you but we do earn an affiliate commission which keeps the lights on here, and provides more incentive for us to drink and debauch. So buy some stuff :-)