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Panawanna

Healthcare / Medicare Options for Newcomers

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Moderator comment dated 2 May 2017: This topic was created out of another topic in a different forum because it essentially splintered off into a new topic. (Not complaining, as this happens from time to time.) Here is a link to the spawning topic:

 


Going back to the U.S. for Medicare is brought up several times.  We are getting ready to move to Panama and I am just at the point of signing up for Medicare.  My question to this forum is... do I sign up for Both Part A and B?  Or just Part A?  (Which I believe will be at no cost to me).  What is the  value of paying for Medicare (any parts) if living out of the U.S. as it provides no coverage? Catastrophic coverage seems the way to go for us, but I need more data to determine what to do about Medicare.  Thanks.

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You are entered into Part A automatically. You have to sign up for Part B. Living in Panama requires you send in the form for Part B. I did it throught the embassy. If you don't sign up or cancel their is a penalty to re enter or sign up at a later date. I'm thinking it's 10% a year not sure. If you don't have other insurance in the USA when you go back and forth you need Part A and B for coverage. You can be exempt from Obama care on the amount of days you are not in the USA. I have forgotten how many days out you need. If you are a veteran enroll in VA medical care then you don't have to have obama care. There are other options also.

Edited by Hil

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18 minutes ago, Panawanna said:

Going back to the U.S. for Medicare is brought up several times.  We are getting ready to move to Panama and I am just at the point of signing up for Medicare.  My question to this forum is... do I sign up for Both Part A and B?  Or just Part A?  (Which I believe will be at no cost to me).  What is the  value of paying for Medicare (any parts) if living out of the U.S. as it provides no coverage? Catastrophic coverage seems the way to go for us, but I need more data to determine what to do about Medicare.  Thanks.

The advantage to signing up for Medicare Part B even if you live abroad is that you can return to the U.S. for elective surgery. Also, should you ever move back to the U.S., you pay a 10% per year penalty for resuming Medicare. I think you are correct, however, about needing catastrophic coverage in Panama, preferably with a company that has direct pay to Panama hospitals. While routine medical care is inexpensive, a heart attack, stroke, bad automobile accident, etc., can be very expensive. Hospitals are getting more expensive all the time. If you have plenty of cash, self-insuring and praying for good luck would be an option.

Edited by Bonnie

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13 hours ago, Panawanna said:

Going back to the U.S. for Medicare is brought up several times.  We are getting ready to move to Panama and I am just at the point of signing up for Medicare.  My question to this forum is... do I sign up for Both Part A and B?  Or just Part A?  (Which I believe will be at no cost to me).  What is the  value of paying for Medicare (any parts) if living out of the U.S. as it provides no coverage? Catastrophic coverage seems the way to go for us, but I need more data to determine what to do about Medicare.  Thanks.

Hola Panawanna,

Part A and Part B information is available here:

https://www.medicare.gov/

Unusual for a government website, this one is surprisingly clear with its explanations.  There is even an "I'm outside the U.S." explanation.

jim

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2 hours ago, JimAndNena said:

Hola Panawanna,

Part A and Part B information is available here:

https://www.medicare.gov/

Unusual for a government website, this one is surprisingly clear with its explanations.  There is even an "I'm outside the U.S." explanation.

jim

Just some food for thought on things that can happen:

We went back to the USA for a family visit last September.  Three days after we got there, my aorta ruptured and I had emergency surgery.  After that, I developed complications with pneumonia and renal failure.  I was in the hospital for almost four months.  Fortunately, I had made the decision to pay Part B premiums and I even had a Medicare supplement.       

I have seen the total costs billed, and my opinion is that the Medicare premiums are the best investment I ever made.

 

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Thanks, everyone!  As we both have enjoyed good health to this point, it is difficult to imagine that anything catastrophic could EVER happen to us.  I should be wiser than that!

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