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Will Medicare cover me while I’m traveling in the US?

I live in Wisconsin. I have a daughter living in Colorado and a son in California. What happens if I run into a medical situation when I’m visiting them?

The answer depends on the type of Medicare coverage you have.  

  • Original Medicare, including a Medicare supplement plan: For travel within the United States or its territories, you can get care from any physician or hospital that accepts Medicare assignment.
  • Medicare Advantage plan: Plans that do not cover services outside their networks will cover only emergency care while you are traveling in the US. If the plan allows out-of-network care, the services will cost more. Prior authorization rules may apply (except in an emergency). Some Medicare Advantage plans have expanded networks, such as four counties in a neighboring state. Know that these networks can change at any time. Also, some plans offer special programs for a fee that will help cover medical expenses away from the home territory.  
  • Prescription drug plan (Part D): A drug plan covers medications provided by a network pharmacy. Many drug plans include national pharmacy chains in their networks, so it may be possible to get medications while in another state.  
Last updated: 08-22-2016