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Check in on your health insurance for stress-free travel

Tips to consider

This article was last updated June 21, 2023.

When it comes to preparing for a trip, are you an over-packer or do you stick to the basics? Wherever you fall on the spectrum, one thing is a must: checking your health insurance coverage.

Sure, it’s probably not as fun as packing those vacation items, but it’s important. As you prepare, you can feel confident knowing your Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance travels with you. Be sure to keep these things in mind.

Before you leave

  1. Check your benefits

    Be familiar with your coverage — understanding your plan means less stress if you need medical care. What’s the name of your health plan network? How much does it cost to go to a doctor’s office? What about a walk-in clinic?

    Log in to or register for myWellmark Opens New Window® — your personalized health insurance website — to get the details about your plan.

  2. Pack your ID card

    Keep your most up-to-date ID card with you at all times. This little card has all the information you need to receive services or get a prescription filled. You can also download the Wellmark app to see your ID card on your phone and check for in-network health care providers wherever you’re traveling.

  3. Don't forget: Download the myWellmark mobile app

    When you download the myWellmark mobile app before you actually need it, your health insurance benefits are at your fingertips — even when you're on-the-go. Easily access your digital Wellmark ID card, search for in-network health care providers, check your benefits, and much more. It's all easy to access on your phone. 

  4. Find the right travel health insurance

    As a Wellmark member, you're already covered when you travel locally and abroad

    You have access to 96 percent of hospitals and 95 percent of physicians across the U.S. through the BlueCard® Program.* This program links providers to all Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans across the country, which means your health coverage travels with you.

    Depending on the type of plan you have, you may only be covered in emergency situations, so visit External Site or call BlueCard Access at 800-210-2583 before your trip.

    Wellmark members traveling abroad have built-in coverage through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core. Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core is automatically included with your plan and provides coverage when traveling outside the United States. Like BlueCard, though, you may only be covered if you have any emergency. Go to External Site for the details.

    Get peace of mind with additional travel health insurance

    If you’re traveling abroad for a short-term trip, an extended period of time, or living or working overseas, GeoBlue® External Site is the best option for you. 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, which means you can be transported to other parts of a country or outside the country if you are seriously ill or injured.

    You don’t need health coverage with Wellmark to purchase a GeoBlue plan. You can get a quote and purchase a plan online External Site or call 800-336-0505.

While you're on vacation

  1. Be familiar with the area

    Where’s the closest walk-in clinic or in-network doctor’s office? Knowing this information right off the bat will ease the stress if you have to use services while on vacation.

  2. Know the tools available to you

    myWellmark is your go-to resource while you're traveling. When you log in to myWellmark, you can search for in-network health care providers, facilities or pharmacies Secure Site in your local area. Plus, you can compare costs and know how much you’ll have to pay up-front, so you won't be surprised later.

    BlueCard Access

    If you’re traveling outside the country, call BlueCard Access at 800-810-2583 to find a doctor or hospital in the area where you need care.

    Doctor On Demand® virtual visits

    If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your hotel room, whether locally or abroad, you can get an expert opinion from a board-certified physician — virtually — through Doctor On Demand External Link. Your virtual doctor can treat most common medical conditions and even prescribe medication, if needed.

    A virtual visit is a benefit covered by some Wellmark plans, but anyone can purchase a visit without using your insurance information.

    If you have questions, call Customer Service at the phone number on your Wellmark ID card or download the Doctor On Demand mobile app.

When you're back home

  1. Look for your Explanation of Benefits (EOB)

    If you had to use services while on vacation, you will receive an EOB with a simple recap of how your insurance paid for care you received. At Wellmark, all claims must be filed within six months. But, this policy may not apply to all providers — especially if you're getting care outside of Iowa and South Dakota. So, if your claim hasn’t been settled within a few months of receiving services, call Customer Service or your provider.

    Get your EOBs electronically to easily track and manage your health care claims and spending. Simply log in to myWellmark to access your account settings Secure. You'll then be able to edit your preferences under Notifications.

  2. File a member-submitted claim, if needed

    If you had to get care or prescription drugs from an out-of-network provider, you will need to submit a claim form yourself Opens New Window to be considered for reimbursement of covered services. 

* Consortium Network Compare Findings as of September 2019.

** Long-term GeoBlue plans are not available in South Dakota.

GeoBlue® is a trade name of Worldwide Insurance Services, LLC, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Global is a brand owned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross Blue Shield is an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies.

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.