This article was last updated Aug. 5, 2022.
Travel requires planning. Whether you’re going on a short road trip or taking the vacation of a lifetime, there’s a list to keep track of: itineraries, travel documents and last-minute items to pack — to name a few.
One thing you might want to add to that list? Health insurance coverage for when you're on the road.
If you're a member of a Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan, you already have basic coverage while traveling both inside and outside the United States. But, depending on your health plan network, your destination and the duration of your trip, you might want to consider additional coverage.
Traveling outside of the U.S. after COVID-19
The list of countries External Site open to travelers continues to grow. It’s important to note that if you are planning to travel outside the U.S., you should understand your destination's COVID-19 protocol and travel requirements. Every country is different, and has their own entry and exit requirements. For example, you may be required to quarantine or test negative upon arrival. Whatever your destination, you’ll want to be prepared for paperwork, testing and other precautions. Also, you’ll want to stay up-to-date on any rules for reentry into the United States External Site. Just one more reminder — Wellmark does cover OTC COVID-19 tests Opens in a new window, but there are some limitations.
Here's what's included with your plan
Every Blue Cross Blue Shield plan participates in the BlueCard program that allows you to use your plan benefits to access care anywhere inside the U.S. Depending on the type of plan you have, you may only be covered in emergency situations. This is the case if you have an HMO network plan, for example.
Before you seek care while traveling, make sure to log in to myWellmark® Opens New Window to do a couple things:
- Check your benefits. It's important to know your health plan network and whether or not there are restrictions for out-of-state care.
- Find an in-network doctor. The BlueCard program gives members access to 96 percent of hospitals and 95 percent of physicians across the country.* But, it's still important to use myWellmark to make sure a doctor near you accepts your health insurance. By using Find Care in myWellmark, you can even figure out how much your visit will cost you before you step inside the office.
Virtual visits through Doctor On Demand® External Site
Most Wellmark health plans include coverage for a virtual visit through Doctor On Demand. During a virtual visit, you can connect face-to-face with a board-certified physician via a smartphone, tablet or laptop. These physicians can treat a number of minor issues, like a cold or the flu, plus headaches, skin conditions or bronchitis. Some Wellmark plans even cover Doctor On Demand visits for mental health.
To find out if you have coverage for Doctor On Demand, log in to myWellmark Opens New Window and select Find Care. Even if virtual visits aren't covered under your Wellmark health plan, getting care online through a service like Doctor On Demand may still be more affordable than a trip to urgent care or the emergency room.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core
Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core External Site is an extension of the BlueCard program outside of the U.S. Whatever your benefits are here in the United States, they are also available internationally, including your cost-share and deductible, for example. Like BlueCard, you may only be covered if you have an emergency.
It's important to note that while Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core does provide built-in coverage when you're traveling internationally, it does not provide full protection. For example:
- It does not cover potentially important international needs like medical evacuation, which allows for you to be transported to other parts of a country or outside the country if you're seriously ill or injured — or return of a body.
- Your plan would need to confirm eligibility and benefits before you seek care. Depending on where you're traveling and possible time differences, this could be difficult to complete during normal business hours.
- Usually, you will have to pay for care up-front and then submit a claim for reimbursement.
Additional travel health insurance to consider
Depending on your trip, you may want to consider travel health insurance options available through GeoBlue®.
With GeoBlue, you'll have an international network of doctors and hospitals available to you, with zero need to file for reimbursement. Depending on the plan you choose, you could even be covered for medical evacuation.
You don't need health coverage with Wellmark to purchase a GeoBlue plan. To get a quote and purchase a plan, simply visit Wellmark.com/GeoBlue External Site.
*Consortium Network Compare Findings as of September 2019.
Doctor On Demand physicians do not prescribe Drug Enforcement Administration-controlled substances, and may elect not to treat conditions or prescribe other medications based on what is clinically appropriate.
For plans that include benefits for mental health treatment, Doctor On Demand benefits may include treatment for certain psychological conditions, emotional issues and chemical dependency. Services performed by Doctor On Demand psychologists are covered. Doctor On Demand does not provide psychiatry services. For more information, call Wellmark at the number on your ID card.
Doctor On Demand is a separate company providing an online telehealth solution for Wellmark members. Doctor On Demand® is a registered mark of Doctor On Demand, Inc.