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Retirement Health Insurance for Expatriates: Overseas Coverage

Expatriate retirees face unique challenges when it comes to health care and retirement plans. With Medicare coverage limited abroad, it’s essential to understand how your domestic plan works, as well as your options for international coverage. This article helps you do just that by explaining how Medicare works in foreign countries, as well as covering some of the options available for broader coverage.

If you live in the United States, and if you qualify for premium-free Part A and want to sign up for Part B, you can do so from abroad without penalty. However, you must return to the United States to enroll in Part B again. In some cases, you may be able to get a special enrollment period after returning from overseas.

Most insurance companies offer travel health¬†Explore the topic policies that provide coverage for medical emergencies that occur while you are traveling outside the country. These policies typically pay “customary and reasonable” hospital charges, and some will cover a portion of your evacuation expenses as well. Some of these plans are very inexpensive, and may be a good option for people who plan to travel frequently in their retirement years.

The majority of American expats who move abroad for retirement, though, don’t make this a permanent move. Instead, many people spend a few years in a country such as Mexico or Costa Rica before heading back to the United States. For such retirees, it may be easier to enroll in the national health system of their country of choice. This type of coverage usually includes monthly contributions, often made by a deduction from one’s paycheck.

This kind of coverage can be very affordable, and some of it can also provide the high-quality, comprehensive care that many people expect from Medicare. As a result, some retirees cobble together different types of coverage, including Medicare and national or private health care coverage. The final step is to consult a financial advisor who can help them decide what’s best for their particular situation.