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Your healthy vacation how-to list

JUN 08, 2017
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Summer brings opportunities to revisit old haunts and explore new territories. To relax and fully enjoy your vacation, it helps to know that you’re prepared for anything. Planning ahead with a health care checklist will help ensure a safe and healthy trip for you and your loved ones.


Start by making sure you know what services your plan would cover at your destination. From there, you can figure out what steps you’ll need to take before you start your journey.


Getting care in your health plan’s service areas


If your destination is in one of your plan’s service areas, you’ll usually have access to many of the same services you’d have at home.


Outside your health plan’s service areas


Emergencies can happen anywhere.


Be sure to save the paperwork for any health care you get while you’re away. If you need to go to an emergency room or hospital, call (or have someone call) your health plan carrier to make sure they’re aware of the situation. This will help you get reimbursed for any medical services you need to pay for on your trip.


Prepare for take-off with a checklist


Print this checklist or save it to your mobile device. With each item you check off, you’ll be a step closer to the peace of mind that comes with being fully prepared.


4 weeks before your trip:


  • Find out if your health plan offers a special customer service line for traveling members. Be sure to save it to your phone, along with your carrier’s regular customer service number.  If you’re managing a health condition, check with your doctor before leaving for your trip.
  • Make sure your health plan membership card’s in a safe, accessible place. You’ll need it with you at all times in case you have an emergency or an urgent medical need. If you’ve lost your card, now is the time to order a replacement.

2 weeks before your trip:


  • If your health plan or care provider offers online services, make sure you’re fully registered. This will help you reach out to them with any questions or concerns you have, no matter where you are.
  • Refill your eligible prescriptions, including contact lenses, so you’ll have enough for your trip. Order your refill(s) at least 2 weeks before your journey to make sure there’s time to process your request.
  • Make sure your immunizations are current, especially when traveling outside the United States. Visit the CDC page on immunization requirements to learn what immunizations you’ll need. Even if you’re staying close to home, make sure your flu shot is up to date.

24 hours before your trip:


  • If you’re flying, keep your prescriptions in your carry-on bag. This will keep them within easy reach, even if your flight is delayed or your checked bags are lost.
  • To make sure you have your medical records wherever you go, stash a printed copy in your carry-on or handbag.
  • Keep your health plan membership card close to your passport or photo ID, so it’ll be easy to find in an emergency.

A little preparation now can save you a great deal of inconvenience and confusion in a stressful situation. With all of these items checked off your list, you’ll be able to depart for your trip fully at ease. To make sure you understand your coverage while traveling, check your plan’s Evidence of Coverage, Summary Plan Description, or Membership Agreement.


To learn more about traveling in good health, visit

TOPICSaway from homeChecklistSummertravel