Costa Rica Retirement – After paying into Medicare through all your working years you hope that you will be covered in your retirement age, no matter where you choose to live. Many seniors decide to move overseas to cut their cost of living and increase their quality of life. Then they find out that Medicare only covers them in the States! Why won’t Medicare cover you overseas?
This dilemma leaves many retirees paying double. They must keep paying Medicare premiums or lose the services. They are also paying out-of-pocket for care received abroad. This affects half a million Americans. Some cannot afford it and have to wait until returning to the U.S. to receive care.
This restriction negatively affects Medicare, as well as the patients. Medicare is missing out on the opportunity to pay only a fraction of the cost. Medical services abroad often cost only a percentage of what Medicare pays for them in the U.S. Considering the seniors who let problems go until getting back stateside, the conditions are often worsened and cost more to fix than if they were treated immediately while abroad.
The Medicare Part A fund is expected to be exhausted by 2024. Maybe adjusting the restrictions on overseas coverage could help this situation. A group called the Center for Medicare Portability is trying to change the rules for overseas retirees.
The idea is not new. Some retired military and federal employees are able to use their Medicare abroad. Maybe Congress will see that including the global health care market option for more people can be part of the Medicare spending crisis.
Could this bring Medicare to Costa Rica?
There are many possibilities for how this could be feasible. Perhaps the easiest one would be a voucher system where those retirees who agree to have medical care abroad could get vouchers worth 75 percent of the cost in the States. They could use the voucher to purchase health insurance from a private insurer in the country where they reside. It would result in an immediate 25 percent savings for Medicare!
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