Will the ship be registered as a Medicare approved facility?
Cruise ship medical facilities must adhere to the standards set by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The ACEP guidelines dictate that the infirmary must contain the proper equipment to handle a range of treatments and diagnostics. Storylines will meet all required registrations related to any Medicare services covered on the ship.
However, “The U.S. government does not provide medical insurance for U.S. citizens overseas. We do not pay medical bills. You should purchase insurance before you travel. Please review the country information page regarding the country you are visiting before you travel.” See Travel.State.gov for additional information about insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Where does Medicare cover me?
Medicare will cover you in the U.S. and U.S. territories including:
- The 48 contiguous states
- Alaska and Hawaii
- The District of Columbia
- Puerto Rico
- The U.S. Virgin Islands
- American Samoa
- The Northern Mariana Islands
Medicare may also cover you in Canada if you’re traveling between Alaska and another state when you have a medical emergency and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat you.
Does Medicare cover me on a cruise ship outside the U.S.?
Medicare will generally cover you on a cruise ship under the following conditions:
- The doctor treating you is allowed to provide medical services on a cruise ship
- The cruise ship is in a U.S. port
- The cruise ship is no more than six hours away from a U.S. port when you receive the medical services, even if they are emergency services
If you receive medical services more than six hours away from a U.S. port, Medicare will generally not cover you.
How can I get medical coverage on a cruise ship?
If you have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan to help you pay your Medicare out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Supplement plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M and N generally cover foreign travel emergency care during the first 60 days of your trip. Once you meet a $250 deductible for the year, the Medicare Supplement plan may pay up to 80% of the charges for medically necessary emergency care outside of the U.S., including care on a cruise ship.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C for example) require that I have a U.S. address or I can be disenrolled after 6 months. Will Storylines be considered a U.S. address?
Storylines will maintain a physical address in Florida which our residents are welcome to use. We do not know if that will satisfy the Medicare requirement or not.
What if I have additional questions about Medicare coverage when traveling?
Please contact your Medicare representative and clarify the coverage you have and what is not covered. Please forward any questions or concerns to our office so we can help explore additional options.
In general, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover medical costs overseas, please check this website.
Will medical staff file insurance claims on a resident’s behalf?
Storylines will have an insurance specialist to assist in most insurance claims, including those involving Medicare when applicable.
Some Medigap plans cover foreign travel emergencies that occur during the first 60 days of the cruise. What if an emergency arises after the 60 days?
Should this occur, a Storylines group insurance policy would be activated if available. If it is not, you might consider other private travel/health insurance products. Also keep in mind that out-of-pocket medical expenses are generally much more affordable in other countries.
Please see our health & medical blog posts as well as our Corporate Partners page which includes a link to Insurance Consultants International where you can fill out Storylines Insurance Interest Form.
What is included with the annual assessment fees?
Check-ups with the doctor are included. Also dental cleaning, eye exams and hearing screenings that can be completed by a physician’s assistant, nurse or technician are included. Any abnormal findings that require treatment by a dentist or physician may have a surcharge.
What is health care going to cost me when I’m living abroad if my current health insurance policy won’t cover me?
While we do not have medical services pricing onboard the ship determined at this point, we want our community to know that we are here to nurture and care for each individual. Health and wellness are paramount to the Storylines experience. Regarding medical costs on the ship, our goal is to provide the best possible care at the most affordable rates possible. Some of our medical services will be included but where we incur costs, those costs will be passed on to residents and guests.
Regarding medical costs off the ship, it is important to know that medical care outside of the United States is much more affordable. Many ex-pats pay for health services out-of-pocket because they receive excellent care abroad at an excellent price. It is important to have a health insurance policy in the USA because of the extremely high costs of receiving medical care in that country. We urge you to research medical tourism and ex-pats and we think you will find that health insurance is mostly necessary for emergency situations when residing outside the US.
Is emergency helicopter evacuation covered by insurance?
An insurance product is offered through our Insurance partner that covers evacuation by emergency helicopter to the nearest hospital listed within the insurance plan. If you have a different hospital in mind, you would need to organize that with a private insurance company. There may be cases that a resident/patient might be taken back home if they need long term care. Insurance often covers this. When the patient is well they can come back to the ship at their own expense.
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