Ask Toni: Should I purchase travel insurance when visiting a foreign country?

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Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2015 1:00 pm

My husband and I are planning on touring Europe this fall and I was wondering how Medicare pays overseas in a foreign country. We both have a Medicare supplement and it says that foreign travel is covered but I’m concerned of what can happen if we get sick or need to be air life-flight back to the US.


Should we purchase traveler’s insurance or is the Medicare supplement enough coverage?

I’ve heard that your dad was Charlie Angelo who owned Angelo’s Fisherman’s Wharf on South Main. Is that true?

Sally from Clear Lake area

Hello Sally:

Yes my previous career was hostess at Angelo’s and my dad is Charlie. Those were the good ole days when things were not as stressful as it is in today’s times. Now my dad and his buddy Marvin Zindler are looking down from heaven watching me help America understand Medicare.

A Medicare supplement is good coverage when you are in the US because it will cover you and your husband anywhere in the United States with any doctor/provider and healthcare facility which accepts and/or bills Medicare. It is not adequate coverage for traveling overseas to foreign countries. A Medicare supplement generally gives you only $50,000 of benefit where you pay 20% of the $50,000 and the insurance company pays 80% of the $50,000 lifetime benefit.

What if you need to be air ambulanced to Houston, TX? Do you have enough money to get you home? I know I don’t! Make sure you purchase traveler’s insurance.

Your travel agent will know the proper travel insurance for you to purchase or you can “Google” travel insurance online for different plans.

Below are tips when traveling overseas:

• Senior travelers should purchase a senior travel insurance policy before traveling. Those who have travel insurance will get medical compensation

if they fall ill during their travels. Travel medical insurance plans typically cover the policyholder in the event they are hospitalized or need medical attention for an injury or illness. Special travel insurance plans are available for seniors with unique medical needs.

• Consult with your doctor to find out if you are healthy enough to travel overseas if you have a serious health problem.

• Bring a sufficient amount of medication. Take your doctor’s contact information as well as an extra copy of prescription on hand.

• Get certifications for medications containing narcotic drugs. Many prescriptions are illegal that contain narcotic or habit-forming drugs. Get a certification from your doctors before traveling. Some medications are considered illegal and those who carry such medications may be arrested when they are trying to clear customs.

• Drink boiled or bottled water: Senior travelers should also be aware that water in certain countries might not be safe for consumption. It is advisable that they drink only boiled or bottled water throughout their trips.

• Contact the nearest US embassy when there is a health issue.

Remember when traveling overseas, you are in their country and they do not have the same healthcare or rules that we do here in the United States of America.

? Confused about Medicare Workshop Sugar Creek Baptist Church- Tuesday September 15th from 6:00PM to 8:00PM at Sugar Creek Baptist Church-Chapel at 13213 SW Freeway (next to Classic Chevrolet), Sugar Land, TX 77478. RSVP to 832-519-8664

? Social Security Workshop Wednesday September 9th beginning 11:00 AM to 1:00PM at the Toni Says SW Houston office located at 10998 S. Wilcrest Dr Conference Room, Houston, TX 77099. RSVP to 832-519-8664

Toni King, author of the Medicare Survival Guide®, is on sale at Personal consultations or to have Medicare/Social Security questions answered, please contact Toni at or call 832-519-8664.


Category: Insurance

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