Yes, sorry, Bisbee is correct. It is your supplemental policy that would cover an emergency. As I said above, people should contact their providers for correct, current info..... and call Medicare itself with questions or concerns. Below is a response I received to an email I sent regarding the “150” different Advantage policies etc. that are theoretically accepted by Hospital San Antonio and Lakeside Medical Group. Phillip Moeller is something of a Medicare guru
The letter I sent to Moeller:
"I live in Ajijic, Mexico. I have Medicare A, B, and AARP UHC Plan F. I also have high deductible major medical private insurance here in Mexico. Expensive, but worth it. I go up to see my PCP and other specialists. And i have Drs. here. Lakeside Medical Group here says they accept about 150 different insurances. In particular they say they accept many Advantage plans including United Health Care. After due diligence I cannot figure out how this group does it? Is it worth giving up my WEA insurance for Mexico and changing my Plan F to an Advantage plan? Below is in its entirety from their website:
“What is an Advantage Plan?”
“Some Medicare Benefits have supplement plans which might include the Foreign Travel Benefits. These benefits are extremely limited. A better way to go is with a Medicare Advantage Plan like an HMO or PPO or any well known Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans are sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” and are offered by private companies approved by Medicare.”
Medicare pays these companies to cover your Medicare benefits. In general to qualify for a Medicare Advantage Plan you must have Medicare Parts A and B”
How can this work in Mexico? Lakeside Medical Group participates as a provider with many of the big name Medicare Advantage Plans like United Health Care, Blue Cross, Aetna, AARP Medicare Complete, Humana and many more. Since these companies are private insurance companies, but approved by Medicare, we are are able to accept them for coverage in Mexico.
Do I still have to pay for Deductibles and Co-Insurance? NO. Patients join medical groups for many reasons including being able to enjoy highly subsidized deductibles and co-insurance. By joining our medical group you will not have to pay any deductibles or co-insurances. Patients are not responsible for a percentage of billed charges or deductibles.
How To Obtain Medicare Coverage in Mexico as a benefit under a Medicare Advantage Policy
(Lake Chappala - Ajijic and Puerto Vallarta now, other areas coming soon)
Medicare Advantage Plans are different than Supplement Plans. Please see below.
In order to get a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as a Medicare Replacement Plan:
Step 1. You must have Medicare Part A and B
Step 2. You now must obtain a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA) from a private insurance company such as United Health Care, Humana, Aetna, BlueCross, and many other big name insurers. Sometimes Medicare Advantage Plans are called Part C Plans
Step 3. Go to this link at https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx
Step 4. Enter you zip code of your US address that Medicare has on file for you
Step 5. Select the options on the Medicare form that are included in your Medicare Coverage.
Step 6. Select the best Advantage coverage Company/Policy that fits your personal needs.
If you already have Medicare Advantage (MA) call Lakeside Medical Group to be sure they accept that Company/Policy for full group health coverage while in Mexico. Lakeside Medical Group accepts most Advantage Plans.
TOLL FREE WHILE IN MEXICO: 01 (800) 681-9396
TOLL FREE WHILE IN US: 1 (888) 449-7799
Once confirmed with Lakeside Medical Group, register With Lakeside Medical either over the phone or using their website at www.lakemedicalgroup.com
Lakeside Medical Group
In addition to the above Medicare Advantage Plans the following Medicare Supplement Plans D, E, F, G, M or N are accepted by Lakeside Medical Group
Lakeside Medical Group accepts the Medicare Foreign Travel Benefit.
Supplement Plan is either D, E, F, G, M or N. These plans include the Medicare Foreign Travel Benefit
Foreign Travel Emergency Coverage Benefit has a lifetime maximum of $50000.00 USD.
The care rendered must be of an urgent care or emergency nature
The emergency must be within 60 days or your trip”" No
Response from Mr. Mueller in part:
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans do not cover care in Mexico. Some Medigap supplement plans, as you note, do cover emergency care outside the U.S., but it is limited and usually has a $50,000 cap.
I have never heard of a Medicare Replacement Plan.
Thanks for taking the time to write, and best of luck.
Author, Get What's Yours for Medicare
Co-author, Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security
“Ask Phil” on PBS NewsHour
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Notice: I do my best to provide accurate information about Medicare, Social Security, and other aging and retirement issues. I do not claim infallibility. Before acting on what I write, you should contact the pertinent agency and, if you’ve got one, your own adviser.
Welllllll, I don’t know... maybe I’m just beating a dead horse and eventually I’ll be proved wrong, right, whatever.