Reciprocal Agreement Medicare Countries: What You Need to Know

If you are planning to travel or reside abroad for an extended period, you may be wondering if Medicare will cover your healthcare needs. The good news is that some countries have reciprocal healthcare agreements with the United States, which means that you may be eligible for healthcare coverage while abroad.

What is a Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement?

A reciprocal healthcare agreement is when two countries agree to provide certain healthcare services to each other’s citizens. This agreement is usually based on the principle of “equal treatment,” which means that the citizens of both countries are entitled to the same level of healthcare services as they would receive in their own country.

Which Countries Have Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements with the United States?

Currently, the United States has reciprocal healthcare agreements with 30 countries. These countries are:

– Australia

– Austria

– Belgium

– Canada

– Chile

– Czech Republic

– Denmark

– Finland

– France

– Germany

– Greece

– Hungary

– Iceland

– Ireland

– Israel

– Italy

– Japan

– Luxembourg

– Netherlands

– New Zealand

– Norway

– Poland

– Portugal

– Slovakia

– Slovenia

– South Korea

– Spain

– Sweden

– Switzerland

– United Kingdom

What Does the Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement Cover?

The reciprocal healthcare agreement covers medically necessary care, which includes doctor visits, hospitalization, and emergency care. The agreement does not cover non-essential or elective procedures, such as cosmetic surgery. The coverage also varies based on the country.

For example, in Australia, the reciprocal healthcare agreement covers inpatient care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, and ambulance services. In Canada, the agreement covers only medically necessary hospital and physician services.

What Should You Do Before Traveling Abroad?

Before traveling abroad, you should contact Medicare to see if you are eligible for coverage under the reciprocal healthcare agreement. You should also check with the country you are traveling to, as they may have specific requirements for healthcare coverage.

You should also have a copy of your Medicare card with you when traveling abroad. In some cases, you may need to show your Medicare card to receive healthcare services.


A reciprocal healthcare agreement can provide peace of mind for those traveling or residing abroad. However, it’s important to understand the coverage and requirements before traveling. If you have any questions about reciprocal healthcare agreements or Medicare coverage abroad, contact Medicare for more information.