Health benefits in foreign countries


Q. I am a retired federal employee with Federal Employees Health Benefits and Medicare parts A and B. My relatives are urging me to spend the rest of my retirement in Slovenia. Can I use my health benefits there?

A. If you are enrolled in an HMO, with rare exception (Guam), you won’t be entitled to any health benefits while living overseas. If you are enrolled in a fee-for-service plan, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield or GEHA, as a rule, you’ll have to pay the bills and forward them to your plan for reimbursement. Whether those bills will be paid and in what amount varies.

To find out how your health care needs would be treated overseas, start by reading what the Office of Personnel Management has to say at

Then call your own plan to find out how it would handle your coverage in Slovenia.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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