Travel with Medicare

Get travel benefits with your Medicare plan

Like many retirees, you may be planning to exchange the briefcase for a suitcase. Whether you want to go on a last-minute vacation or head south for the winter, you’ll want to travel with confidence knowing you’re covered if the unexpected happens. That’s why it’s important to choose a Medicare plan that makes care accessible and affordable, no matter where your journeys take you.

If hitting the road (or jumping on a plane) is on your to-do list after retirement, it’s essential to know how your Medicare benefits will travel with you.

If you’re traveling within the United States and have Original Medicare, all the regular Medicare rules apply: As long as the doctor, specialist, clinic or hospital you visit accepts Medicare, you’re covered like you would be at home. However, if you have a private Medicare plan (like Medicare Advantage or Medicare Cost), your domestic travel benefits – like who you can see and how much you’re covered – can vary.

If you’re traveling outside the United States and have Original Medicare, your benefits won’t follow you in most cases. As a result, you could be responsible for 100% of the costs if you need care. Some private Medicare plans may offer some coverage when travelling abroad, but details can differ from plan to plan.

HealthPartners Medicare plans include in-network coverage for up to nine consecutive months of the year when you travel inside the U.S. but outside your plan’s service area (waiting periods may apply – see your plan’s Evidence of Coverage for complete details). Most plans also offer access to pre-travel consultations and worldwide emergency and urgent care coverage, with additional assistance available through Assist America®.

Pre-travel consultations

Make sure you’re ready for your next vacation by scheduling a pre-travel consultation with your doctor or visiting a covered travel medicine clinic. During your consultation, you’ll be able to get needed travel vaccines (check your benefits to see what’s covered), discuss any safety considerations and complete other preventive care that might be needed before you travel.

Emergency support through Assist America

If something unexpected happens when you’re more than 100 miles from home or in a foreign country, you’ll have Assist America on your side. When you’re navigating a medical emergency, Assist America’s vast network of resources can support you.

Call 800-872-1414 if you’re traveling inside the U.S. or 609-986-1234 outside the U.S. to talk to experienced clinicians 24/7 who can help assess your need for medical care. If appropriate medical care isn’t available locally, Assist America will coordinate your transportation to the nearest facility or to your home.*

Tips for traveling with Medicare

Before you travel, these tips can help you prepare:

Different Medicare plans may cover out-of-state care differently, so it’s important to check your coverage by calling your insurance company. At HealthPartners, our Member Services team is ready to help you travel confidently.

Let us know when you plan to travel. Just call the number on the back of your insurance card or sign in to your account to activate your travel benefits.

When you get care while traveling, you might need your red, white and blue Medicare card and your health insurance card. Sometimes your doctor needs both cards to correctly bill Medicare and your insurance company.

If you see a doctor who doesn’t participate in Medicare, your plan might not cover the costs. Confirm with them that they accept Medicare before you receive care. Some Medicare providers may require you to pay a portion upfront. If you have to pay a copay or coinsurance, you can submit a reimbursement claim to your insurance company.

Make sure to pack any medications you use regularly in your suitcase or a place where they won’t get lost (if you’re flying, putting your medication in a carry-on bag you always have with you is a good idea). It’s also a good idea to create a travel first-aid kit with items like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes and more.

A HealthPartners Medicare plan gives you flexible options for all of life’s adventures. Explore the features and benefits that come with our Medicare plans and find the best fit for you.

We’re your partner in making Medicare as simple as can be.

Legal information

* Assist America services are only available during the first 90 consecutive days that you're away from your home and all arrangements must be made through Assist America.

Out-of-network/noncontracted providers are under no obligation to treat HealthPartners members, except in emergency situations. Please call our customer service number or see your Evidence of Coverage for more information, including the cost-sharing that applies to out-of-network services.

Last updated October 2022

H2422_002804 Approved
H2462 H4882_002804 Accepted