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If you're going on vacation this summer, you probably have a growing list of things you need to do before you leave such as buying your plane ticket, booking your hotel room and researching all the activities you can do at your destination. But, there are some other less-obvious items you should add to your checklist that can help you stay safe and healthy when traveling.
Make sure you mark these items off your to-do list before you leave:
Check to See if Your Coverage Travels with You
Talk to your health insurance company to see if your benefits will cover you when you are away from home. If you are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois member, you may have access to the BlueCard® Program. BlueCard is a national program that lets members get health care services when traveling outside their Blue Plan service area. Outside the United States, members have access to doctors and hospitals in more than 200 countries and territories around the world through the BlueCard Worldwide® Program.*
Be sure to call the Customer Service number on the back of your member ID card to learn about your coverage options if you or your kids get sick or injured when you are away from home.
Find a Doctor and/or Hospital in Your Network
You should also make a list of the in-network doctors and/or hospitals near where you will be staying. This will save you time and worry if you or one of your family members gets sick when you are traveling. To find doctors and hospitals that are in your network, use our online Provider Finder® or download our app so that you can search while you are traveling.
Bring Your Insurance Card
Make sure you pack your health insurance member ID card along with photo copies in case you lose it while you are traveling. You will have to show your insurance card to the doctor's office, clinic or hospital if you need medical attention.
Pack Your Medicines and Copies of Your Prescriptions
If you are taking any prescription medications make sure to pack enough to last you the entire trip and maybe some extra in case you experience any delays. The U.S. Department of State recommends that you leave your medications in their original labeled container, and pack them in your carry-on bag if you are flying. Be sure to pack copies of your prescriptions and ask your doctor for their generic names in case you need to get more while you away.
See If You Need Any Vaccines
If you are traveling to another country, you should check to see if that country requires you to bring proof that you have gotten certain vaccinations or taken certain medications. Be sure to review their country-specific vaccine and medication lists and go see your doctor well in advance of your trip to get the vaccines and medications you may need. Learn more about the vaccinations you need when traveling abroad.
*The BlueCard Program is not available for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan members. This is only a brief description of some of the plan benefits. Not all of these benefits are offered by all plans. See your certification of coverage for full details.