Q. A local hospital in Panama accepts Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield and does not bill the patient who has Medicare Part B for deductible or co-pay because the hospital bills federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield directly for the total medical expense, and federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield collects whatever they don’t pay from Medicare. This surprised me because I thought Medicare did not pay for any medical attention received outside of the U.S.
I have Medicare Part B but no other insurance and was told I wouldn’t qualify under this hospital’s policies as I don’t have Blue Cross/Blue Shield, federal or otherwise. Please clarify if, under certain circumstances, Medicare does pay for part of medical expenses acquired outside of the U.S.
A. Although I can’t clarify that for you, I can refer you to the official Medicare site, which explains the circumstances under which Medicare-covered expenses will be paid when outside of the U.S. and its territories. Go to www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/11037.pdf.