Seniors account for more trips to the ER annually than any other age group. Falls, strokes, pain, and reactions to medications are just a few of the reasons people over the age of 65 visit the emergency room. Any trip to the emergency room can be stressful, but when you experience an injury, sudden illness, or medical event, you shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of the visit. If you are eligible for Medicare, you may get help paying for your trip to the ER.
Eligible for Medicare?
If you are 65 years of age or older, or have received Social Security benefits for 24 months, you will likely be automatically enrolled in premium-free Medicare Part A if you’ve paid Medicare taxes while working. When you first qualify for Medicare, you have the option of enrolling in Part B, or Medical Insurance. You pay a premium for Part B and will have a yearly deductible. Most Medicare recipients enroll in Part B during their Initial Enrollment Period to avoid paying late enrollment penalties. Part B benefits include coverage for doctor visits, preventive care, emergency department services under certain circumstances, and more.
How can Medicare help pay for your trip to the ER?
Anyone with Part B will be covered for trips to a hospital emergency room. You will pay a copayment for the emergency department visit and a copayment for each hospital service. You also pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor’s services and the Part B deductible applies. If you are admitted to the same hospital for a related condition within 3 days of your emergency department visit, you don’t pay the copayment because your visit is considered to be part of your inpatient stay.
Emergency services outside of the United States will only be covered in rare circumstances. If you travel abroad frequently and have Original Medicare, you may want to consider purchasing a Medigap policy. Medigap, also known as Medicare Supplement, policies may offer coverage for health services and supplies that you get outside of the United States. Medigap Plans C, D, G, M and N provide foreign travel emergency health care coverage.