MEDICARE PORTABILITY is Medicare coverage for eligible Americans who are living or traveling abroad. It is currently prohibited by antiquated Medicare rules.
The Medicare program began in 1966 when the life expectancy of Americans was 70 years, when few Americans could or wanted to retire abroad, when few countries had U.S. healthcare standards, and when Medicare spending was merely $3 billion.
Much has changed: Americans are living longer and many want to spend some part of their retirement abroad in order to stretch their limited retirement assets or to reunite with family. Many countries now have U.S. standards of healthcare at much lower costs. Meanwhile, the Medicare program spends $549 billion annually and is unsustainable without structural changes.
It is time to update Medicare to recognize and take advantage of these new realities. Letting retired Americans access lower cost, high quality global healthcare would
Medicare Portability makes sense. It should be part of every Medicare reform effort.
The Center for Medicare Portability, based in Washington D.C., is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization whose mission is to make Medicare available to eligible Americans who choose to live abroad.