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Can I use my Medicare Advantage plan as I travel across the country?

Yes, even though Medicare Advantage plans (MA or MAPD) usually have a service area for a specific county or ZIP code - and may not be as "portable" as a Medicare Supplement - you can travel with your Medicare Advantage plan. 

However, depending on your chosen Medicare Advantage plan, you may pay more for out-of-network healthcare - and your out-of-network healthcare costs may not impact your out-of-pocket spending limit (
MOOP) or you may have a higher out-of-network MOOP limit.
  • If you join a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Medicare Advantage plan, you probably will pay the lowest premiums, but may find that HMOs have the most restrictive healthcare network.  In other words, if you travel, you may pay the highest costs when seeking healthcare services outside of the plan's established provider network.

    Please read your plan's coverage details as your out-of-network costs may not count toward your Medicare Advantage plan's annual Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limit (MOOP).  Look for language in your plan's Summary of Benefits or Evidence of Coverage documents that may state:
    Like all Medicare health plans, our [Medicare Advantage] plan protects you by having yearly limits on your out-of-pocket costs for medical [Medicare Part B] and hospital care. Your yearly limit(s) in this plan: $6,700 for services you receive from in-network providers.
  • If you join a Medicare Advantage HMO-POS (HMO point of service) plan, you may find that the plan provides the affordability of an HMO and the flexibility of a Medicare Advantage PPO or Medicare Advantage PFFS plan (explained below).  You may be allowed to go outside of the HMO POS healthcare network, but you may pay more for out-of-network (or POS) coverage and your out-of-pocket costs may not count toward your Medicare Advantage plan's annual Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limit (or MOOP).

  • If you choose a Medicare Advantage Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), you should find a more flexible healthcare network allowing you to visit physicians as you travel out-of-state.  However, you probably will also pay more for out-of-network healthcare, and you may need a referral to use an out-of-network provider, even at a higher cost.

  • If you happen to find a Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plan in your area, you will learn that the PFFS does not have an established healthcare network and instead, you are allowed to visit any doctor (or healthcare provider) who accepts both Medicare and the Medicare Advantage PFFS plan's terms and conditions.  The challenge with a PFFS plan can be that your doctors or healthcare providers may or may not accept the plan's terms and conditions - and each subsequent visit to a healthcare provider requires that you re-affirm that your PFFS plan is still accepted.  Only a limited number of Medicare Advantage PFFS plans exist in 2021.  You can click here to read about the decline of PFFS plans in our analysis of 2021 Medicare Advantage plans.

  • Medicare Advantage plans for "Snow Birds" and "Sun Birds".  Finally, depending on where you live, you may find Medicare Advantage plans allowing people to travel between different states (or within certain counties of other states) and still be considered in-network for purposes of coverage costs (meaning, you pay the same even when traveling to different states).

    For example, some Medicare Advantage plans provided by UnitedHealthcare offer a "Passport ®" feature.  These Medicare Advantage plans are often chosen by "snow birds" or “sun birds” who travel each year from the one state to another (such as from Ohio to Florida).  You can read more in our FAQ about splitting your time between two states.  
Emergency Care is covered out of state - Please remember, all Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for emergency care - even if you are outside of your plan's Service Area.

For more information - To see Medicare Advantage plans that are available in your Service Area, you can use our Medicare Advantage plan finder (MA-Finder.com).  If you click on the Medicare plan name, you can see an overview of the plan's coverage.  For more information, please contact the Medicare Advantage plan or telephone a Medicare representative at 1-800-633-4227.

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Tips & Disclaimers
  • The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site comes directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
  • Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information on our site.
  • We provide our Q1Medicare.com site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. However, Q1Medicare is not intended as a substitute for your lawyer, doctor, healthcare provider, financial advisor, or pharmacist. For more information on your Medicare coverage, please be sure to seek legal, medical, pharmaceutical, or financial advice from a licensed professional or telephone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
  • We are an independent education, research, and technology company. We are not affiliated with any Medicare plan, plan carrier, healthcare provider, or insurance company. We are not compensated for Medicare plan enrollments. We do not sell leads or share your personal information.
  • Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Our PDP-Compare.com and MA-Compare.com provide highlights of annual plan benefit changes.
  • The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.
  • Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.
  • We make every effort to show all available Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans in your service area. However, since our data is provided by Medicare, it is possible that this may not be a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
  • When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes may be required to pay both a Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Read more on IRMAA.
  • Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) are considered Medicare Part D plans and members with higher incomes may be subject to the Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), just as members in stand-alone Part D plans. In certain situations, you can appeal IRMAA.
  • You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Members may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only during specific times of the year. Contact the Medicare plan for more information.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan with Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for financial Extra Help to assist with the payment of your prescription drug premiums and drug purchases. To see if you qualify for Extra Help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or your state Medicaid Office.
  • Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
  • A Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plan (PFFS) is not a Medicare supplement plan. Providers who do not contract with the plan are not required to see you except in an emergency.
  • Disclaimer for Institutional Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who meets the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) level of care and resides in a nursing home.
  • Disclaimer for Dual Eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.
  • Disclaimer for Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who has been diagnosed with the plan specific Chronic Condition.
  • Medicare MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
  • Medicare MSA Plans do not cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate (stand-alone) Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
  • There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan provider for additional information.
  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can file a complaint with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day/7 days or using the medicare.gov site. Beneficiaries can appoint a representative by submitting CMS Form-1696.