If you have original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) you are covered anywhere in the United States. You must, however, use hospitals and doctors that accept Medicare.

Anywhere in the United States includes:

  • 50 states
  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Washington, DC

Keep reading to learn more about what’s covered under Medicare when you travel to another state.

Depending on your Medicare plan, your coverage may vary when you leave your home state.

Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance)

You’re covered with doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare anywhere in the United States.

Part D (prescription drug coverage)

Medicare Part D is made available from private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Plans differ from company to company.

Some offer national coverage so you can go to any location of their in-network pharmacies. Some have pharmacy networks that are not available in other states/regions.

Part C (Medicare Advantage)

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, your coverage outside your home state is based on the specific plan you have. Some things to check about your plan regarding out-of-state coverage:

  • Does your plan have a provider network that you must use to be covered? HMOs are good examples of this type of plan.
  • Does your plan allow you to use healthcare providers outside of your PPO (preferred provider network)? If so, will this trigger a higher copayment or coinsurance?

If you’re planning to travel outside your home state, check with your Medicare Advantage Plan to understand your plan’s service area.

There are some limited situations when original Medicare may cover you when you’re traveling outside the United States, including if:

  • You live in the United States, have a medical emergency, and a foreign hospital is closer to you than the nearest U.S. hospital.
  • You’re in Canada, have a medical emergency while traveling on a direct route between Alaska and another U.S. state, and the closest hospital that can treat you is in Canada.
  • You’re on a cruise ship, need medically necessary care, and the ship is in U.S. waters, a U.S. port, or within 6 hours of arrival or departure from a U.S. port).

Medicare Advantage

At a minimum, Medicare Advantage Plans must provide the same level of coverage as original Medicare. Some offer additional coverage.

Medicare Part D

If you have Medicare Part D or any other plan that includes prescription drug coverage, prescription medications purchased outside the United States are typically not covered.

Medicare Supplement

Medigap plans C, D, F, G, M and N all offer 80 percent foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits).

As opposed to traveling to or through another state, if you’re planing to take up residence in another state, you need to give Medicare your new address.

The fastest way to update your contact information for Medicare is to use the “My Profile” tab on the MySocialSecurity website. You do not have to be receiving Social Security benefits to use this site.

To gain access to the MySocialSecurity website, you must first register. You can only create an account for your own exclusive use, you must be able to verify information about yourself, and you must:

  • have a Social Security number
  • have a U.S. mailing address
  • have a valid email address
  • be a minimum of 18 years old

You can also update your Medicare contact information by calling the Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213. If you’d prefer to update in person, you can go to your local Social Security field office.

You can use your Medicare in another state, but the coverage may vary depending on your plan.

Medicare planCoverage
Original Medicare (parts A and B)You’re covered anywhere in the U.S. if you use doctors and hospitals that accept Medicare.
Part D (prescription drug coverage)Check with the provider of your prescription drug coverage as some offer national coverage and some have pharmacy networks that aren’t available in other states or regions.
Part C (Medicare Advantage)Check with the provider of your Medicare Advantage plan to see if you must stay in their provider network for coverage and if there are higher costs if you go outside their network.

If you want to update your Medicare contact information, you can:

  • use the “My Profile” tab on the MySocialSecurity website
  • call the Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213
  • go to your local Social Security field office

The information on this website may assist you in making personal decisions about insurance, but it is not intended to provide advice regarding the purchase or use of any insurance or insurance products. Healthline Media does not transact the business of insurance in any manner and is not licensed as an insurance company or producer in any U.S. jurisdiction. Healthline Media does not recommend or endorse any third parties that may transact the business of insurance.

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