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Documents to take . . .

A quick question, is it necessary to take my Medicare card? I realize it isn’t helpful in paying for health services in Europe, is there any other reason why I may need it? I do have my travelers insurance card.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by
8889 posts

I don't see any reason to take it. Nobody in France will know what it is.

Posted by
14167 posts

To me it depends on how far you are from your departure airport and whether you have to change planes in the US.

I do take mine as I have an hour’s drive to the airport then fly to a hub for an onward flight. Plenty of time that I’m in/over the US.

Posted by
4999 posts

Pam and Travel Man make very good points. Better to have it and not need it than the other way around.

Posted by
2712 posts

If you have received your new card it no longer uses your Social Security number so it’s safe to have with you. If not, your old card should remain in deep storage while you travel. Truth is, however, every major health care delivery system in the US has access to the Medicare data base and can check your eligibility. And, federal law prohibits hospitals from turning you away in any circumstances should you require emergency care.

Posted by
1443 posts

Why carry any documents other than your passport? Just take a photo of any documents you think you might need and keep them on your phone.

Posted by
14580 posts

The doc and the pharmacist in Berlin only wanted to know if I could pay in cash, absolutely no credit card payment and if if I was a tourist or living in Germany

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you all for your input. Tomorrow we fly out for our time in France. jusqu'à plus tard ~~

Posted by
8173 posts

It is useful to have access to this material but I would not carry it. We had to untangle a stupid mix up with our medicare once when in Europe for an extended period. I had a xerox copy of all of those sorts of cards and when we had to deal with it in an online conversation with the medicare administration it was useful to have the information. (we discovered we were being charged for medicare at the rate of someone employed and making a substantial wage when my husband was retired and making no wage. We were able to get this straightened out from overseas and it was handy to have SS card, Medicare card copies to be able to reference as we did this.) The information is of no use in Europe per se as medical care in Europe is not covered by Medicare.

Posted by
1025 posts

The program "Scanner Pro" is free for iPhones and I presume for Android phones as well. You can scan in any documents you have and they are available for review and printing. No paperwork, no carrying documents. We live in an electronic age. Scan everything in, and show the document to whoever.

Posted by
15649 posts

I always take my driver's license - great when anyone asks for photo ID and I don't have a problem carrying it in my pocket - so easy to replace if it gets stolen.

Posted by
1443 posts

That's typically why I have my social security card, birth
certificate, $9,000 in cash, a boogie board, and my portable printer
with me at all times.

No anvil? Pfft - rookies.

Posted by
12172 posts

A boogie board is soft with no spine or fins. You ride it laying down, just your torso on it, often wearing snorkeling fins (some people pop up to their knees). Lots of fun when the water is too shallow for surfing

See "the Wedge" in California: https://www.afar.com/places/the-wedge-newport-beach

Regarding Medicare card, you don't need it in Europe. The only possible use I can think of is if you get sick on the way to the airport or have to go to a hospital, in the US, right when you get back (or if you try to boogie board at the Wedge). It's small and can be replaced if it's lost, so really your choice.

Posted by
4011 posts

A quick question, is it necessary to take my Medicare card?

Yes. It's a good idea actually. You ARE covered while you're in the US.

Take it in case something happens to you while traveling within the US to/from your destination and that includes in the car between your home and your home airport, at your home US airport before your flight and after your last flight home, at a layover US airport assuming you aren't flying directly to/from a foreign destination, etc. Seriously.

Just keep it on you.

Posted by
11507 posts

Excuse me , but are Americans not covered if they don’t have the cars in their possession ????

Here we have computers , they can look up our numbers . I bet your country has computers too . So modern .

Posted by
4011 posts

Excuse me , but are Americans not covered if they don’t have the cars
in their possession ????

Here we have computers , they can look up our numbers . I bet your
country has computers too . So modern .

Those solely on Medicare regardless of the ubiquity of computers in the US & Canada will still have no coverage in Europe.