Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Retiring Abroad

For those nearing retirement, deciding on where to spend one's Golden Years is perhaps as important as how to finance them. And one issue that straddles both challenges is what to do about health insurance.

Moving from Michigan to Florida may pose financial challenges, but both are part of the Good O' U S of A, so the only real insurance-related challenge is finding a new Medicare Supplement plan. But what if one was thinking outside the box - perhaps outside The 'States?

Brazil offers nice weather and Carnival!, while the French Riviera boasts gorgeous beaches and luxury yachts. But neither will honor your Medicare card. So what to do?

The folks at Bankrate have some helpful info as you navigate these waters:

■ Medicare won't cover you on that Caribbean isle, but if you can make it back here (assuming you haven't forsworn citizenship) you should be okay. Of course, that may mean traveling while you're ill, and isn't helpful if that's an appendicitis attack needing immediate attention.

■ Your Medigap plan may offer some coverage; best to check that before getting on the plane.

■ Some countries offer "universal" health care; best to confirm ahead of time whether or not you qualify, and under what conditions.

■ Our friends at Global Underwriters offer travel medical plans that might fit the bill. Again, some of this will depend on where you're headed, and for how long.

The key is, as always, do your research before you leave.
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