Health Insurance Coverage and Your Travel Plans
by Chris McPike, Location Manager/Agent
Many people have decided that it’s time to catch up on travel plans that were deferred during the pandemic. As you get ready to enjoy your time away, here are some tips on how to use your health insurance to handle an illness or an injury that happens while you are away on vacation.
• Emergency or Urgent Care services are typically covered as an in-network expense. This is true even when the medical provider that you used is not in your plan’s network. You should go to the facility that is closest to you.
• For medical attention that is not an emergency or urgent situation, it is important to understand how to find an in-network provider when you are away from home. Some policies do NOT offer in-network providers outside the state of Nebraska. Check your benefits before you leave and do an internet search for providers and pharmacies that are close to the area you will be visiting.
• Know how to use your plan’s telemedicine tools. You are always in the network when you use a telehealth doctor. A prescription can be sent to any pharmacy.
• If the medical provider required full payment from you, then you may have to submit the claim to the insurance company.
• Medical expenses when you travel internationally may not be covered by your policy. It’s always a good idea to add an international travel plan. The benefits cover medical expenses as well as some travel-related expenses when there is an unexpected change in travel due to a medical condition.
For those enrolled in Medicare plans:
• Medicare does not provide benefits outside the United States. Your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement policy may offer some international benefits. We recommend adding an international travel plan.
• Medicare Advantage policies are network-based. If your policy uses a PPO network, it is likely that you can access in-network providers when you travel. If your policy is based upon an HMO network, your choices may be more limited. Most MAPD plans offer a $90 copay for an emergency room and a lower copay for an Urgent Care Center.
• Medicare Supplement policies are not based on networks. You can see any doctor that is contracted with Medicare, anywhere in the US.
An urgent health care need can arise at any time, so it’s just best to be prepared for it. The ComPro Team is happy to answer any questions you have about health insurance coverage while traveling!