Does anyone in the viewing audience depend on Medicare for their healthcare while living in Panama? Is this even possible? I have a senior citizen friend who's asking.




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You can't use it in Panama. You would have to go back to the states to get care using medicare. You can use Tricare here, the insurance for retired U.S. military. I've always wondered, if the U.S. can administer Tricare in Panama, why can't they administer Medicare here too? I guess I should know not to ask any govt. a logical question.
Thanks Judy. I passed the information along. It is too bad. Think of how much less the system would be burdened by a patient in Panama over one here in the US.
Medicare coverage stops with you leave the borders of the USA. Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. have affordable health insurance but I don't know what you would do about getting "off" Medicare.
You simply notify Medicare that you wish to cancel.
What insurance is available in Panama for those who are 65+?
Do you no anyone that in or around Boquete that is using Tricare or Tricare for life? Currently on Tricare and will go on Tricare For Life next year. Boquete is currently at the top of our short list of places to relocate.

Charlie Bare

I was searching through old posts hoping to find the answer to this.  My husband was just told by our insurance woman, that if we lived in Panama six months out of the year, we would loose our medicare.  We were hoping to keep in and also have insurance here.

This is an old post, but still very valuable information for many people.  Hope that someone who has actual experience with this can enlighten us, as we are ready to freak out.  If we  have major surgery at some point, or a major health issue, such as cancer, we would like a choice for treatment.  I am not saying it would not be in Panama City, but we do not want to close doors...

Your insurance woman is full of beans. You will always be able to use Part A in the U.S., and you will be able to use Part B if you pay for it. You cannot cancel Part A. To cancel Part B, notify the government and quit paying for it.

Susan, My husband is using it in the states now, and has not had a problem.  When we moved to another part of Missouri, he got a new primary care, and has seen two specialists. Had not thought about keeping a U.S. residence for that purpose.  I do own a home with my mother, in florida.  Maybe we could use that.

Bonnie, I just caught my breath again.  I don't want to spend six months in the states.  This was an Anthem agent, who does my husbands part B.

Thank you both, very much.

I tried to stop my Medicare payments of $150 a month but was told if I opt out, I would likely never qualify for it again. So I was advised to keep up my payments until I thought I was never To return to the States and need medical treatment. Hmmm!

Carolyn, That is a good idea, really.  I would hate to give up that choice forever.  Actually, some surgery is less expensive in the states than in Panama City.  I know a woman who went back, in part, for that reason.  Also felt for this procedure, the advice she was getting was better in the states.  Another day, another time, Panama City might be a better bet.  Love the opinions.

If you want to stop paying Part B, you need to call and they will send you  a form to fill out. If you drop Part B and sign up again later, be aware they will increase your premium 10% every year you went without Part B.

Debbie, that is good information, 10%, while being a lot, takes, I would guess, about a year to recoop. I am just sighing up for it now.  

We have a good friend, who was our primary care physician for around 20 years.  This means we would have to go back to a small town in Missouri.  He plans to retire one day, so perhaps he could find another fine Dr. to accept us.  Having a good relationship, and one that is long term, is very helpful.  At this point, since I own property in both Florida and Mo. I have an address and would not be pulling anything, as we pay taxes also.

Anyone have a good suggestion for a part B plan?


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