At present, Medicare, as the system is called, cannot be claimed abroad. So American pensioners tend to travel back to the United States to get treatment. The possibility of making Medicare "portable" has been talked about for years. But, apart from the introduction of a small pilot project, it has never got much further than just an idea. Yet the advantages are clear: expatriate pensioners would find it easier to get health care; the costs for the crisis-ridden Medicare would be lessened; and Mexico and other Central American countries with American pensioners would benefit not only from a rise in their health-care expenditure, but also from the big increase in their numbers that such a change would certainly bring.
That is from The Economist, "Go South, Old Man," 26 November issue. Comments are open, in case you know more about this. Here is more information, which includes a brief discussion of fraudulent claims.