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Michael Hinton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
We just sent a friend back to Miami by medivac, which cost $32,000.  He was veteran, retired, with full disability but VA would not pay his flight.  VA was paying for his hospital stay here but he was not getting any better.  He was in a VA hospital in the US for two months, had a stroke and passed away.
 
I have my health care in Colombia, which costs me $31 a month for full coverage.  I just consider the $160 round trip cost ticket as a deduct able.  I have used it 3 or 4 times with a c- pay of a dollar.   I have cedula for Panama and Colombia.
MANUEL GRANADOS  of MEDICAL SERVICE PANAMA, S.A. (MS PANAMA, S.A.) – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
medicaid card – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe answer to whether Medicare will cover you in Panama is no. I get that question many times from my clients, many of whom are US expats. The hospitals here in Panama will be more than happy to assist people that have Medicare, but the US government will not pay for the services.
 
There are many hospitals in Panama that will be very happy to accept you, but they cannot accept payment from Medicare because Medicare will not make a payment to a hospital in Panama.
 
It is a policy of the US government. I don’t know why, but Medicare only works for Americans who get healthcare services in the US. 
 
(Samle Medicaid card which cannot be used in Panama, pictured.)
Gonzalo de la Guardia of Panasurance – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Medicare will cover you only in the US. If you are outside of the US, Medicare will not cover you. So if the only thing you can afford is Medicare, then your strategy should be to make sure that you could get a flight to the US in case you have an emergency.
 
Depending on their condition and circumstances, some people still keep their Medicare, even if they are already living in Panama. One example for that is because people who have serious pre-existing medical conditions might not be able to get a health insurance coverage here in Panama, and so it may be wise to just keep their Medicare.
Robert Adams of Retirement Wave – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
You cannot use Medicare in Panama because you cannot get Medicare reimbursements for medical services provided outside the United States. There are some exemptions under circumstances when you’re in Canada. Otherwise, no; your alternative if you want Medicare is to go back to the US to receive care.
 
Depending on the individual’s situation, some people do return home for treatment under Medicare. Others find that they can get the level of care where they are living overseas at a much lower cost than they would in the United States. And some people, myself included, have insurance right here in Panama that covers most of my medical expenses, less a deductable, of course.
 
I personally would only go back to the US for medical treatment under Medicare if I had to. It depends on the situation. If you have a severe problem that’s going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, then it would make sense to go back to the US where you can get Medicare.
 
Most people signed up for Medicare when they started receiving Social Security, if they hadn’t already signed up for Medicare.  As a result, you’re listed in the US, but since Medicare isn’t going to reimburse for any medical expenses outside the US, you’ve got to get back to the US to receive your Medicare benefits.  That’s a critical reality to understand.
Craig Morrissey of Hospital Nacional – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Medicare does not provide coverage in Panama.  However, there are some Medicare Replace Policies (Medicare Advantage Plans) that will cover you for emergency services when abroad.  Each plan is unique and you will have to check with your provider to see if you have any coverage.  Also, these plans are not set up to contract with international hospitals and doctors, so the patient pays for the services that they receive and then submits their claim to their insurance company for reimbursement.
 
Kevin Bradley of Panasurance, Inc. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Medicare does not pay for treatment in Panama and probably will not in the future.  You will have to obtain Private health insurance or at the very least, a travel policy with air evac to get you back to the USA and your Medicare coverage.

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