Keeping Medicare Coverage

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Keeping Medicare Coverage


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19th May 2019, 03:46 PM
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Default Keeping Medicare Coverage

Hello,

For those permanent US expats 65 and older, what's your Medicare status/coverage?

My friends in Ajijic have private Mexican coverage but kept Medicare coverage as a worst-case scenario.

Keeping Medicare coverage seems the prudent thing to do.

I look forward to hearing how you are handling this.

Regards,

Don

P.S., You'll find an introduction about my wife and me in the Introduction Forum.

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Old 19th May 2019, 05:26 PM
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have private Mexican insurrance and do not have Medicare. we have no plan to go back..

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Old 19th May 2019, 05:40 PM
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I think it depends almost entirely on how you think (or feel) Mexican health care compares to that in the U.S., because the numbers work thus:

We canceled our Medicare (Part B) when we moved to Mexico in 2004 and ever since, have paid out of pocket in addition to carrying SP as a disaster backup (which we have never used.) Can't get private insurance due to pre-existing conditions.
Our expenses have included office visits, drugs, surgery for cataracts, minor back surgery and one for coronary problems.
Part B Medicare would have cost approx $210 per month for two people X 180months = $39,600. Added to that are co-pays.
We may have spent half that for everything.

Another factor is whether one wants to seek a doctor that takes Medicare patients (not that easy any longer) and your options for post-residential care and its cost.

The companies that will fly you to the U.S. will not take you there until you have been "stabilized" here for whatever your condition may be.

Just some things to thing about....


Last edited by lagoloo; 19th May 2019 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 19th May 2019, 06:15 PM
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We feel that the flying back for us is useless , each time my husband got an emergency surgery , there is no way he wanted to fly or go anywhere..not even to Guadaljara 2 hours from Chiapas.. , The flying option we know is a waste of money for us.

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Old 19th May 2019, 10:43 PM
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My understanding is that if one is returning to the U.S., they can within the first two months of returning, (re)enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (part C) as long as they already have Medicare Parts A and B active. This would most likely be for those returning to the U.S. longterm.

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Old 20th May 2019, 12:07 AM
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Link for above:

https://www.medicareconsumerguide.co...ng-in-medicare

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Old 20th May 2019, 03:09 PM
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Thanks to everyone who responded! All good information. It reinforces all the positive things we've heard about medical services and costs in Mexico.

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Old 22nd July 2019, 07:45 PM
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All,

Below is a link to an NYT article titled "Dream of Retiring Abroad? The Reality: Medicare Doesn’t Travel Well." A couple of American expats in Mexico are cited.

https://nyti.ms/2NZBjGc

I found it informative, but nothing new since my wife and I have been studying (and asking on this forum) and giving a lot of thought on what kind of coverage we'll have (US & Mexico) when we move to the Chapala area next year.


How does the discussion on private insurance in Mexico pan out in this forum? Good, bad, expensive, cheap, must-have, waste of money?

Thanks,

Don

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Old 23rd July 2019, 12:02 AM
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Interesting subject for a traveler in Mexico. Perhaps catastrophic coverage in Mexico would be good, then pay basics out of pocket.

Leaving the U.S. and returning to use Medicare might be tricky as I see it. You would have to drop the Part C or Supplemental, then re-establish on return - time frame (call SSA about that). Using original Medicare would mean a long term relationship with a flexible doctor in the U.S.

I have an Excel cost spreadsheet of the savings and penalties of dropping Medicare Part B (for up to 10-years) - pm me with an email address and i can send a copy, or pdf print.

Sent from my KFFOWI using Tapatalk


Last edited by Stevenjb; 23rd July 2019 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 24th July 2019, 07:26 PM
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@stevenjb: We carry Medicare and a medigap policy through my ex-employer; we were not required to drop it nor is there any requirement to maintain a long-term relationship with a specific doctor. All you need to do is go to an Urgent Care clinic or an ER. The medigap policy also covers us in any country outside the US for the first 60 days of any trip, though it does have limitations and deductibles. Our medigap is appx. $40 per person per month.

@lagoloo: While you and your spouse have built up a nest egg of nearly 40K by declining Part B for ten years, the question for new arrivals is: What if you have a major medical need in your first year or two here in Mexico?

All of my friends and family who were diagnosed as needing heart bypass surgery had enough time (weeks) before their surgeries took place. Same with most cancer surgeries and the follow-up chemo or radiation....there was plenty of time to get back to US.

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