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Medicare For Expats

Many retirees decide to move overseas during retirement. But they often wonder how this decision will affect their Medicare health insurance benefits. After all, a doctor in Costa Rica is not going to accept Medicare. So why pay for Medicare at all? We cover all this, and more, below. 

Medicare Overseas Coverage

First of all, it’s important to understand that Medicare only offers coverage within the United States of America. 

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Should Expats get Medicare?

It depends.

The main consideration is: will you ever need Medical care inside the US again?

If you are committed to never returning to the US, then it may make sense to drop your Medicare Part B and save that $174.70 per month (2024). However, just know that if you do decide to take Part B down the road, you will have a penalty added onto your monthly amount. 

You can determine what that penalty may be with our Part B Penalty Calculator.


Do I have to pay for Medicare if I live overseas?

No, you do not have to pay for Medicare if you live permanently overseas. Just know that you may have a penalty added on if you decide you want it in the future. 


You may still want to take your Medicare part B if you live overseas…even if you don’t plan to use it in the short-term. If you have questions about Medicare for Expats, schedule an appointment with The Medicare Family. We’ll walk you through the application process and answer any questions you have about your unique situation.

Sylvia Gordon, aka Medicare Mama®, is an expert on all things Medicare and Social Security. She is the 2nd Generation here at The Medicare Family and has served on the advisory boards of major insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare®, Cigna, and Anthem. In her free time, she can be found taking care of her animals (dogs, goats, peacocks, chickens), and reading a good book. Learn More.
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