Originally Posted by nun
Many US citizens that retire abroad continue to pay Medicare insurance so they can return to the US for health care.
Some may, but we simply take out travel insurance when going back to the US. It's far, far less expensive than $1,200 a year. And yes, the (US) coverage is quite good. The spouse has had cancer and DVT's, so we purchase from a specialist provider. It includes medical repatriation to the home country. Basic travel policies here always carry a significantly higher premium if the travel is to include the US.
I'm covered by Medicare Part A. The reason I made sure I had the card, even though I live abroad (it's worthless here), was to ensure I could get through the US hospital doors in the first place!
Although, as you point out, there can be problems:
If I were ever to return to the US as a full time resident, I'll have much, much larger premiums to pay.
I have two travel insurance policies, one as mentioned above, and one free from my bank due to a higher level account. The first policy will increase yearly by larger amounts once I reach 70. The second policy (with the bank) will be terminated by the bank once I reach 70.