Does Medicare Cover You While Traveling in Canada?

One of the best things about retirement is having the opportunity to travel more. Planning trips is exciting when you dream about what to see, things to eat, and fun adventures you’ll experience. But part of good planning is thinking about what to do in emergencies, too.

What happens if you get sick or injured while you’re away? Does your Medicare insurance cover you? Do you and your travel partner need extra health care insurance? Even for a trip across the northern border into Canada, you might need more than your Medicare coverage. Here’s a look at whether Medicare covers you in Canada and elsewhere. 

TIP: watch our companion video on Does Medicare Cover You While You Travel.

Medicare Benefits Solutions

Mar 28, 2021

timer 4 minutes read

Medicare Benefits While Traveling

With a few exceptions, Medicare doesn’t cover beneficiaries while they are traveling outside the United States. Medicare covers you while you are in any of the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

However, Medicare might cover certain types of health care in Canada if you are in route directly and without unreasonable delay from Alaska to another U.S. state and you have a medical emergency. To be eligible, the hospital in Canada must be closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that is equipped to handle your emergency.

If this happens and you qualify for emergency help in Canada, Medicare only pays for services that are covered by Medicare. If you are planning to travel to Canada or other countries outside the U.S., you have other options for health care coverage. You can sign up for a Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plan. 

Find a new plan

Get recommendations based on what's important to you, and compare them to your existing plan.

Medicare Supplement Plans When Traveling

Some supplemental insurance plans provide additional coverage for medical services and supplies that you might need while traveling outside the country. You can purchase one of Medigap’s plans – D, G, M, and N, which provide medical emergency care during foreign travel.
If you have one of the above-listed plans, it includes the following:

• Foreign travel emergency care when it begins during the initial 60 days of the trip abroad and only if it isn’t otherwise covered by Medicare.
• Payment for 80 percent of the charges billed for certain emergency care that is medically necessary when you are outside the country, and only after you have met the plan’s deductible for the year.

Having a Medicare Supplement policy is vital for people who plan to travel outside the United States, even in neighboring Canada. If you have a plan already and aren’t sure if you have coverage outside the country, make sure you read your policy carefully or call a licensed representative of your plan’s provider before you set off on your trip. 

TIP: check out our blog on taking your Medigap plan with you when you move.

Traveling with Medicare Advantage Plan

If you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, your plan may offer additional benefits beyond the Part A and Part B coverage that is included in MA plans. This may include health care coverage while you are abroad. You can’t get a Medicare Supplement plan if you have Part C benefits. Read your Part C plan carefully to ensure you have coverage for travel in Canada, or call your provider and ask for details of your coverage before traveling.

NOTE: Keep in mind, Plan C and Plan F include foreign travel coverage, but those plans are no longer sold to new Medicare enrollees.

If you already purchased a Plan C or Plan F before January 1, 2020, you can continue your coverage as long as your plan is not discontinued.

With Medigap policies, your coverage for foreign travel emergencies has a lifetime limit of $50,000.00.

TIP: are you looking for additional benefits? Check out our handy guide on the Top 7 Reasons to Switch Your Medicare Advantage Plan.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Subscribe to the Medicare Benefits newsletter today and start receiving helpful information delivered to your inbox every month.

Got questions?

Call a licensed sales agent at

877-874-1499
or TTY 771

Mon to Fri 5 am – 6 pm PST | Sat 5 am – 5 pm PST | Sun closed

Send us a message

We aim to reply within 24 hours.



    Medicare Benefits Solutions is a non-government website. This is a solicitation for insurance. By submitting information on this site, I am providing my written consent for Medicare Benefits Solutions, herein after referred to as “Medicare Benefits”, which is a brand operated by HealthCompare Insurance Services Inc., its sales agents, or affiliates to contact me (even if I’m on a state or national do not call registry) at the phone number or email address listed to provide me with quotes or information about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D plans. I further consent to such calls or texts sent via autodialer, automated technology, prerecorded message and/or artificial voice. I understand my consent is not a condition of purchase and that I can revoke my consent at any time via medicarebenefits.com/about-us/contact-us. Additional charges may apply to SMS, call, or Internet usage depending on your data providers.

    Find a plan

    find a plan
    Get plan recommendations

    Compare your current Medicare plan to our recommendations – then choose the plan that gives you more of the things you want.

    Get informative, easy to read health, lifestyle and Medicare articles. Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter.

    Medicare Benefits Solutions is a non-government website. This is a solicitation for insurance. By submitting information on this site, I am providing my written consent for Medicare Benefits Solutions, herein after referred to as “Medicare Benefits”, which is a brand operated by HealthCompare Insurance Services Inc., its sales agents, or affiliates to contact me (even if I’m on a state or national do not call registry) at the phone number or email address listed to provide me with quotes or information about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D plans. I further consent to such calls or texts sent via autodialer, automated technology, prerecorded message and/or artificial voice. I understand my consent is not a condition of purchase and that I can revoke my consent at any time via medicarebenefits.com/about-us/contact-us. Additional charges may apply to SMS, call, or Internet usage depending on your data providers.

    Find a new Medicare plan

    Get a plan recommendation based on what's important to you.