Q. I'm 68 and on Medicare. Does Medicare cover me when I travel abroad?

A. If you're covered only by basic Medicare or Medicaid, beware: except in limited circumstances (chiefly, if traveling in Mexico or Canada and the nearest foreign hospital is closer than the nearest US one), these government insurers will not provide benefits outside of the US and its territories unless you buy supplemental "Medigap" insurance or belong to a Medicare HMO. Even then, there may be deductibles, partial coverage, and lifetime limits imposed, which in some circumstances could end up costing thousands.

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