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Old 01-07-2013, 10:13 AM   #21
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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.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:39 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by theOAP

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.
Surely you aren't currently covered by any parts of Medicare if you are not paying Part B. If you moved to the US you could apply to pay B and then A would kick in too.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:15 AM   #23
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Surely you aren't currently covered by any parts of Medicare if you are not paying Part B. If you moved to the US you could apply to pay B and then A would kick in too.
According to the Federal Benefits Unit at the Embassy, yes, I am when in the US. Thankfully, I've not had to test the system,...yet. I trust your knowledge enough to know you wouldn't make a rash statement without some reasoning. Why do you doubt the coverage when in the US?

Edited to add: I am talking about the availability of PART A only.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:28 PM   #24
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Surely you aren't currently covered by any parts of Medicare if you are not paying Part B. If you moved to the US you could apply to pay B and then A would kick in too.
You do not need Part B to be covered by Part A, hospital coverage. DH just turned 65, is still working so is covered by his employer's insurance. We were advised by the SSA to sign up for Part A anyway so that Medicare hospital coverage becomes secondary to his employer's primary. Very unlikely he'll need it, but you never know.

When he retires, he'll sign up and pay the additional premium for Part B.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:07 AM   #25
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I am retired in the Philippines and I no longer have USA health insurance. However, after I am 65 (still 18 years away), one option I hope to have (if I am still retired in this region) is that I could use Part A Medicare in Guam. It is about a 3.5 hour flight.

I might use it if it were something very expensive and the price of the care, partially reimbursed by Part A Medicare, would be around the same or less that I would pay in cash at a high quality private hospital in a different country.

Of course, one would probably encounter the same issues we have now for cash payers in the USA system. How much will my medical procedure cost? Well, we have no idea sir.

The way pricing works in many private hospitals abroad is that you will receive a quote for the 25th and 75th percentile for people with your condition.
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