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Voyager39

Health Coverage in U.S. for Expat in P.I.

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Voyager39

I am on SSDI and am eligible for Medicare starting in late 2018.  My question relates principally to arranging for health insurance back in the U.S. in case I get sick while retired in the P.I.  I'm also interested in health insurance within the P.I., but the focus of this question is on U.S. insurance.

I ask this because I was recently told that I would not be eligible to pay premiums for, and be covered by, either Medicare Advantage or Medigap in Washington state if I am not a resident during the coverage period.  I would have been willing to pay the premiums in order to have coverage within the U.S. should I need to return to the U.S. on an emergency basis.  Based on what I was told, I might have to wait until the next open enrollment period to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan leaving me open to Medicare's potentially expensive 20% coinsurance obligation.

A private plan that could cover me upon return to the U.S. until the next availability date of Medicare Advantage is one possible approach.  Alternatively, a plan that would cover me internationally could work if I needed expensive treatment in the P.I. or elsewhere in Asia could work as well.

Thanks in advance for any help with this matter.

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Salty Dog
5 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

I am on SSDI and am eligible for Medicare starting in late 2018.  My question relates principally to arranging for health insurance back in the U.S. in case I get sick while retired in the P.I.  I'm also interested in health insurance within the P.I., but the focus of this question is on U.S. insurance.

I ask this because I was recently told that I would not be eligible to pay premiums for, and be covered by, either Medicare Advantage or Medigap in Washington state if I am not a resident during the coverage period.  I would have been willing to pay the premiums in order to have coverage within the U.S. should I need to return to the U.S. on an emergency basis.  Based on what I was told, I might have to wait until the next open enrollment period to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan leaving me open to Medicare's potentially expensive 20% coinsurance obligation.

A private plan that could cover me upon return to the U.S. until the next availability date of Medicare Advantage is one possible approach.  Alternatively, a plan that would cover me internationally could work if I needed expensive treatment in the P.I. or elsewhere in Asia could work as well.

Thanks in advance for any help with this matter.

Maybe you can't buy Advantage type plans, but I'm pretty sure you can pay for normal Medicare Part B (Part A is free) while living out of the country. You just have to return to the US (Guam counts) to use it.

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cebubird
8 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

I am on SSDI and am eligible for Medicare starting in late 2018.  My question relates principally to arranging for health insurance back in the U.S. in case I get sick while retired in the P.I.  I'm also interested in health insurance within the P.I., but the focus of this question is on U.S. insurance.

I ask this because I was recently told that I would not be eligible to pay premiums for, and be covered by, either Medicare Advantage or Medigap in Washington state if I am not a resident during the coverage period.  I would have been willing to pay the premiums in order to have coverage within the U.S. should I need to return to the U.S. on an emergency basis.  Based on what I was told, I might have to wait until the next open enrollment period to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan leaving me open to Medicare's potentially expensive 20% coinsurance obligation.

A private plan that could cover me upon return to the U.S. until the next availability date of Medicare Advantage is one possible approach.  Alternatively, a plan that would cover me internationally could work if I needed expensive treatment in the P.I. or elsewhere in Asia could work as well.

Thanks in advance for any help with this matter.

You can CERTAINLY stay enrolled in Medicare Part B-no matter where you are, which of course, gives you coverage ANYWHERE in US(Use in Guam for instance)

You can also dis-enroll, and re-enroll later if you choose to do so(what I did while living in Cebu)

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Voyager39
21 minutes ago, cebubird said:

You can CERTAINLY stay enrolled in Medicare Part B-no matter where you are, which of course, gives you coverage ANYWHERE in US(Use in Guam for instance)

You can also dis-enroll, and re-enroll later if you choose to do so(what I did while living in Cebu)

Thanks.  Reasonably or not, I'm concerned about the 20% coinsurance cost for part B and am trying to see if there is a way to purchase insurance to cover that cost that would apply upon returning to the U.S. after an extended period abroad.  I don't know how extreme the part B outpatient charges can be, so I admit that I don't know how serious this financial exposure is.  Thanks again for your reply.

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Jawny

I’m not certain of this, but what I’ve understood is that any of the supplemental insurance plans will be based upon residency.  That is, if you live in Washington state, the premiums for the supplemental will vary from county to county.  Makes sense, since costs (risks) may be higher in some places and the insurance is underwritten based upon costs.

I hope pointing out the obvious is not inappropriate.  If you choose to subscribe to Medicare part B, you’ll be paying for insurance that can’t be used in the Philippines.  In effect, any medical treatment will need to be done where the coverage is valid. So emergencies are not likely to be covered.  Broken bones, heart attack, snake bite, these sort of treatments are more likely to be treated where you experience them.  

Going witout the part B coverage saves the cost, which can be used by you for the purchase of local insurance.  The 20% copay is pretty standard on policies that I’ve seen.  

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cebubird
11 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

Thanks.  Reasonably or not, I'm concerned about the 20% coinsurance cost for part B and am trying to see if there is a way to purchase insurance to cover that cost that would apply upon returning to the U.S. after an extended period abroad.  I don't know how extreme the part B outpatient charges can be, so I admit that I don't know how serious this financial exposure is.  Thanks again for your reply.

Well, the Part B Advantage type plans are usually limited to a VERY small area, so would be no use to you in PI. I have one here, but only because it's one of the ones that refunds $92  a month of Part B premium, which is good 'cause that pays the fee for the Opthalmologist I have to see once a month. 

Again, for me the xtra $ sure came in handy for us while living in Cebu, and if we should move back permanently, I'd cancel it again.

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