Sunday, March 15, 2009

Punitive system of no Medicare coverage for citizens abroad bad economic policy

As US citizens who have worked and lived many years abroad, our greatest problem related to health care is the total lack of any overseas Medicare coverage following our retirement.

Even though we paid for Medicare coverage all the years of our employment, there is no coverage provided for those living outside the US. This puts us at a great disadvantage as well as in danger of not being able to afford necessary treatment, especially in the case of health emergencies. There is also the additional cost of returning to the US for treatment or going without adequate coverage for health care while abroad.

In order to have coverage for Medicare Part B, etc,.there are mandatory reductions from our Social Security. And even though we are paying these amounts on top of what was deducted from our salaries over the years, no coverage is provided unless we are able to return to the US for such treatment.

In most, if not all cases, the costs of equivalent health services are less overseas than in the US. This is another reason why the punitive system of not providing Medicare coverage for US citizens abroad is a poor choice in terms of economic policy.

Please put this issue at the forefront in seeking improvement to the health care of US citizens residing abroad.


George W. Gish, Jr.
Tokyo, Japan

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