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Help: Need for Medicare

Knowmad

New Member
The wife and I are on Medicare and traveling for a year. Should we keep paying Medicare and Advantage cost? Is it easy to get back on Medicare when we return to the US?
 

braindoc

10+ Posts
It is not a great idea to stop paying your Medicare premiums. You are allowed to re-enroll in the first quarter of a year with coverage to resume as of July. Perhaps more importantly, you might be hit with a permanent late penalty. According to the LA Times:

“You wouldn’t make up the missed payments, but you would owe a penalty that would permanently increase your premiums for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor’s visits, and Part D, which covers prescriptions. The penalty for Part B is 10% for every 12 months you were eligible but not enrolled. The penalty for Part D is determined by multiplying 1% of the “national base beneficiary premium” ($33.37 in 2022) by the number of months that you were eligible but didn’t enroll.”
 

Steve R.

100+ Posts
Additionally, remember that plans change. Pandemics, general health issues, political upheaval, family issues, etc all might contribute to last minute rearrangements of where you'll need to be during that year &, for the cost of your Medicare premium, it may be unwise to leave yourself uncovered if you wind up back in the U.S. unexpectedly. Especially, as braindoc cited, the regs. regarding re-enrollment periods and wait time.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
The wife and I are on Medicare and traveling for a year. Should we keep paying Medicare and Advantage cost? Is it easy to get back on Medicare when we return to the US?
We once thought it would benefit us to drop Medicare and discovered that it was a huge mistake. The re-enrollment period is limited, and now we pay a penalty for the rest of our lives. My advice would be to simply keep Medicare.
 

CaWino

100+ Posts
Keeping Medicare, without any interruption, seems highly prudent. My question is how do you get medical care in Europe for unexpected illness or injury? I get Medicare through Kaiser here in California and they cover (reimburse) some out of country expenses for short term issues at least. I don't know the details or limitations. It seems a supplement of some kind may be needed. Anyone with any knowledge/suggestions on medical coverage in Europe while on long-term trips would be most appreciated.
 
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