Is it possible to keep and use Medicare benefits while living abroad in the Philippines? I'm permanently disabled and collecting Social Security.

2 Answers 2


If there are medical providers that accept medicare patients - then sure. The chances that there are any are hovering somewhere around 0%.

Had there been a totalization agreement between the US and the Philippines, then you would be able to use the local social security network instead, but there's no such agreement (yet?).

  • The agreement with the Netherlands, at least, seems to cover Social Security only, not Medicare.
    – phoog
    Jan 2, 2016 at 13:10
  • @phoog question is what does social security cover there. In my home country the medicare equivalent is covered as an organic part of the social security system, but then again - things differ from place to place and it doesn't really matter to the OP.
    – littleadv
    Jan 2, 2016 at 21:41

Are you visiting and "living abroad" or have you "set up a residence"?

I believe some of the Medicare Supplemental Insurance coverages can provide overseas benefits. For instance, my Massachusetts BCBS Direct-Billed Medex Policy states: "... When Medicare does not cover these services, your Direct-Billed Medex Policy provides both the Medex benefits and the benefits that are normally paid by Medicare for covered services. But, if you set up a residence outside of the United States, your Direct-Billed Medex Policy will not provide any benefits." [Mass BCBS R08-836]

Note that last sentence. It appears to me that with my supplemental insurance 'visiting' is OK, but having a permanent residence is a No-No.

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