Traveler’s Checklist: Protect Your Health While You Travel

Traveler’s Checklist: Protect Your Health While You Travel

Traveler’s Checklist: Protect Your Health While You Travel

Almost time for a vacation?? Whether you’re traveling out of the country or staying stateside, you don’t want illness or injury to be part of your trip. Unfortunately, this unwelcome travel detour happens often. Before you start to pack, take steps to be prepared! Double check that you have health insurance for travel so you can get the help you need if something does happen.

See If Your Coverage Travels with You
Do you know if your benefits will cover you when you are away from home? You may have access to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core program. This international program lets Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) members get health care services when traveling outside their service area. Outside the United States, many members have access to doctors and hospitals in more than 200 countries and territories through the Global Core.*  Watch our video to see what happened when BCBS made all the difference in the world for one young adult traveling in Africa.

Find a Doctor and/or Hospital in Your Network
Make a list of the in-network doctors and/or hospitals near where you will be staying and keep it handy. This will save you time and worry if you or one of your family members gets sick. To find doctors and hospitals in your network, use our online Provider Finder®. Or download our BCBSIL App so you can search while you’re traveling.

Health Insurance for TravelBring Your Member ID Card
Make sure you pack your member ID card. Bring along photocopies in case you lose it. You will have to show your member ID card at the doctor's office, clinic or hospital if you need health care services.

Pack Your Medicines and Copies of Your Prescriptions
If you are taking any prescription drugs, make sure to pack enough to last you the entire trip and maybe even extra in case of delays. The U.S. Department of State recommends that you leave your drugs in their original labeled container. Pack them in your carry-on bag if you are flying. Be sure to bring copies of your prescriptions.

Going Abroad? Talk to your doctor at least six weeks before your trip to allow time for any recommended or required vaccinations. Discuss your travel plans and get a list of vaccinations you’ll need. Many vaccines take time to be effective, and some must be given over a period of time. Keep in mind that some suggested vaccines can only be administered by authorized providers. Planning ahead really helps here!

While you’re there, talk to you doctor and make sure all of your immunizations are up-to-date. Typically, this will include vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (Tdap), varicella (chickenpox), polio and a yearly flu shot.

Before you leave, stay informed about travel conditions abroad by checking the CDC’s Travel Health notices. The website give travelers up-to-date information and travel warnings about current health issues related to specific destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events, natural disasters or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Get more travel health and safety information on the CDC’s Travelers’ Health page.

Don’t travel without access to your healthcare information! Register for Blue Access for Members (BAM)  before you jet off. Bon voyage!

Originally published February 19, 2015; Revised 2017

*The Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core program program is not available for Medicaid, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan members. HMO plan members can use the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core program program only for emergency or urgent care when traveling or away from home for less than 90 days. The Away From Home Care Program is not available for Medicaid plan members or for HMO plan members on the Blue Precision network in IL. This is only a brief description of some of the plan benefits. Not all benefits are offered by all Plans mentioned above. For more complete details, including benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to your certificate of coverage.