If you’re an American considering the idea of retiring overseas, your Medicare won’t travel with you. The United States generally prohibits Medicare from paying for medical services for retirees outside the country and its territories. The more than half a million retired Americans living overseas and the millions more who travel extensively abroad must either go without care until they return to the United States or pay out-of-pocket for the care they need.
Many retired Americans who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives and then choose to move overseas find this situation to be unfair. This restriction on Medicare coverage also ignores the potential cost savings to Medicare offered by lower-cost health care options abroad.
This is a good article about a situation expats often find themselves in, needing health care while living abroad. This article by Kathleen Peddicord is an overview of what seems to be a heckuva smart idea that should be implemented, and why the government resists the whole idea and why we will likely never see international Medicare coverage to be extended overseas.
Some of the basics: If you need expat health insurance, you can buy overseas insurance in your home country (which probably is not cheap), you can enroll in one of the Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas discount clubs (which isn’t really an insurance), or, when you have residency in Nicaragua, you can buy local insurance.