If you have moved outside the United States permanently, you will likely have premium-free Medicare Part A, but do not need Part B. Remember, you can have both Medicare Parts A and B while you live abroad, but Medicare will not cover any care you receive outside of the United States.

Most people qualify for Part A without needing to pay a premium, so enrolling in Part A will probably not cost you anything. Remember, while you live abroad, you can apply for and receive Social Security Retirement benefits if you are an American citizen. In some countries, you can receive Social Security Retirement benefits if you’re not a U.S. citizen but you or your spouse worked and paid Social Security taxes in the United States for at least 10 years. You cannot turn down Part A if you want to keep collecting your Social Security benefits. For more information about your eligibility for Social Security Retirement benefits while you live abroad contact your nearest Social Security office, U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

Keeping Part B may not be worth the cost if you live abroad permanently and do not take frequent trips to the United States. To stay enrolled in Part B, you must continue to pay the Part B premiums even if Medicare will not cover you where you are living.

Before you retire overseas, make sure to explore your options for health coverage in whichever country you may reside. Once you are a resident of certain foreign countries, you may qualify for national health insurance or to buy private health insurance to help for your health care costs. Get specifics about this coverage to ensure that coverage will be adequate and affordable now and into the future.