Jun 11, 2024
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Can I Use My Insurance While Traveling?

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    Ask an Advocate

    Can I Use My Insurance While Traveling?

    Accessing Medical Care While Traveling Abroad

     

    With the summer months approaching, many of us will be traveling for vacations to visit family and friends and explore new places. While we all hope for smooth and enjoyable trips, it’s important to be prepared for any unexpected health needs that might arise.

    Unforeseen emergencies can happen, but being ready for these situations ensures that you receive the appropriate care and protects you from potential financial strain. Healthcare costs, both planned and emergency, are generally higher in the US than in other developed countries, but emergency care can still be expensive anywhere.

    So, you’ve planned your trip, booked your plane and train tickets, reserved your hotels, and packed your bags. What steps can you take before your trip to reduce stress in case a health emergency occurs, whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally?

     

    Preparation for Domestic Travel (Within the US):

    • Check Your Health Insurance Benefits: Before your trip, review your health insurance plan benefits. Even if you’re traveling within the US but outside of your usual “home area,” it’s essential to understand your coverage. Download any relevant insurance apps to have easy access to information.
    • Avoid Out-of-Network Facilities: Accidentally seeking care at an out-of-network facility can lead to unexpected costs. Always verify that the facility you visit is in-network to prevent financial surprises.
    • Emergency Room Coverage: Most group health insurance plans cover emergency room visits within the US for life-threatening situations. However, it’s still a good idea to check your plan benefits before your trip.
    • Prescriptions: Fill any necessary prescriptions before your trip. If it’s not yet time for a refill, request a vacation fill to ensure you have enough medication during your travels.

     

    Preparation for International Travel (Abroad):

    • Check Your International Coverage: Some US-based health insurance companies offer coverage while traveling internationally, but not all do. During the planning stages, review your plan to understand if you’re covered abroad.
    • Limitations and Exclusions: Ask about any limitations or exclusions to coverage. Even if you have international emergency coverage, you’ll likely need to pay for services upfront and then seek reimbursement once you return to the US.
    • Keep Records: Keep copies of receipts, invoices, and medical records. These documents will be necessary for reimbursement.
    • Additional Coverage: Consider purchasing a separate travel insurance plan (links below) specifically for your trip. Such plans may include coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other travel-related issues.

     

    Remember to stay informed and prepared, whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally! See below for carrier-specific links.😊🌎✈️🏥

     

    If you have questions about your healthcare plan or access to care, contact our Advocacy Team by calling 855-662-1029

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