According to a recent survey by Glassdoor External SiteTM, the average U.S. employee has only taken about half of his or her eligible vacation time/paid time off in the past 12 months. This trend isn’t new, even amid other reports that say time away from work leads to benefits like higher productivity, lower stress, improved mental and heart health, and better relationships (Ferguson, Jill. “Health Benefits of Taking a Vacation,” Huffington Post External Site, 3 Mar 2016).
If you’re planning to take advantage of your PTO and pack up the minivan or board an airplane for some much-needed rest and relaxation, good for you! As you get ready, know that your Wellmark health insurance travels with you. But, keep a few things in mind.
Before you leave
- Check your benefits
Be familiar with your coverage — understanding your plan means less stress if you need something. 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?
- Pack your ID card
- Consider additional coverage
Log in or register for myWellmark® to get the details.
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.
Don’t want an ID card taking up space in your wallet? Download the Wellmark mobile app. With the mobile app, you can view your ID card on your smartphone, and check for in-network providers wherever you’re traveling.
As a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan member, your health benefits travel with you. But you may want to consider additional health insurance — especially if you’re going abroad. Let us explain.
BlueCard® Program: You have access to 96 percent of hospitals and 92 percent of physicians in the U.S. through the BlueCard Program. Depending on the type of plan you have, you might only be covered in emergency situations.
Visit Bcbs.com External Site or call BlueCard Access® at 800-210-2583 for more information.
Blue Cross Blue Shield GlobalTM Core: Traveling abroad? We’ve got you covered with this one. 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 BcbsGlobal.com External Site for the details.
Buy-up plans through GeoBlue®: If you’re traveling abroad and want additional coverage, this might be right for you. Depending on the type of plan you select, 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.
This type of coverage is also worth looking into if you’re traveling for an extended period of time, living or working overseas.
You can get a quote and purchase a plan at GeoBlueTravelInsurance.com External Site.
Virtual visit through Doctor On Demand: You can get an expert opinion from the comfort of your hotel room. 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.
For more information, call Customer Service at the phone number on your Wellmark ID card or download the Doctor On Demand mobile app.
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While you're on vacation
- Be familiar with the area
- Know the tools available to you
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.
Bookmark the Find a Doctor tool on Wellmark.com to easily search for an in-network provider near you. If you want to know your costs before you go, log in or register for myWellmark and use the myWellmark® Care Finder. With the myWellmark Care Finder you can find quality, in-network providers in your area, plus compare costs and know how much you’ll have to pay up-front.
Traveling outside the country? Call BlueCard Access at 800-810-2583. This number can connect you to the service center and arrange access to a Blue Cross Blue Shield GlobalTM hospital.
Back at home
- Look for your Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
- File a member-submitted claim, if needed
If you had to use services while on vacation, you should receive your EOB with all the details of what your benefits covered. At Wellmark, all claims must be filed within six months. But, this isn’t the case everywhere. So, if your claim hasn’t been settled within a few months of receiving services, call Customer Service or your provider.
To easily track and manage your health claims and spending, get your EOBs electronically through myWellmark. Simply log in and select My Account from the menu at the top. You'll then be able to edit your Information & Messaging settings under My Web Account.
If you had to get care or prescription drugs from an out-of-network provider, fill out a claim form.
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.