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Medical Consultation

NRI Healthcare: Medicare and more...

“You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Medicare in the US and India?

Consider healthcare options before you take steps to retire in the US or in India. Assess healthcare facilities in your chosen location and evaluate your health insurance coverage. Depending on your needs, you may want to secure a comprehensive health insurance plan in India or USA to cover any uncovered medical expenses during your retirement.


Medicare, the health insurance program provided by the United States government, primarily covers healthcare services received within the United States. If you are living in India as an American citizen, it is important to understand how Medicare works in that context.


Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Limited coverage outside the United States: In most cases, Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for healthcare services received outside the United States. This means that routine healthcare services or emergency care you receive in India may not be covered by Medicare.

  2. Emergency coverage: There are limited circumstances in which Medicare may cover emergency healthcare services obtained outside the United States. For example, if you experience a medical emergency while in India and it is determined that receiving immediate care in the United States was not feasible, Medicare may cover the emergency services as long as they would have been covered if you were in the United States. However, coverage is subject to specific conditions, and it's important to review the guidelines provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for emergency coverage abroad.

  3. Medigap coverage: If you have a Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance) plan, some plans may provide coverage for emergency healthcare services received outside the United States. However, this coverage is limited to the first 60 days of your trip and has a lifetime limit of $50,000. Medigap plans with this benefit are Plan C, Plan D, Plan F, Plan G, Plan M, and Plan N. It's important to review the details of your specific Medigap plan to understand the coverage it offers.

  4. Medicare Advantage plans: Some Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) may provide coverage for healthcare services received outside the United States, but this is not common. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you should contact your plan provider to inquire about coverage while living in India.

  5. Supplementary insurance: If you plan to live in India long-term, it may be advisable to consider purchasing private health insurance that provides coverage for healthcare services received in India. Research and compare insurance providers to find a policy that meets your needs and budget.

  6. Prescription drug coverage: Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage within the United States. If you are living in India, it is unlikely that your Part D plan will cover prescription drugs purchased in India. However, it's recommended to contact your specific Part D plan provider for guidance on coverage while abroad.

It's important to contact the Social Security Administration or Medicare directly to get accurate and up-to-date information regarding your specific situation and coverage options while living in India. They can provide guidance on what coverage, if any, may be available to you under Medicare while residing outside the United States.

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