Road Trip! But Are You Covered?
The car’s gas tank is full, your bags are packed, and the dog sitter’s confirmed. Anything else you should do before you hit the road? How about checking to see if your health benefits will travel with you?
While it’s not something most of us do, it’s a good idea – especially if you have a chronic health condition. The truth is, some benefit plans don’t extend far beyond the city where you work, some are bound by state lines, and others pretty much cover the globe. So it pays to understand your situation. Here are a few things to consider:
In case of emergency: The good news is that all health plans are required to cover you at in-network rates for emergencies, no matter where you are. The trick is making sure you and your benefits provider agree on the definition of an emergency.
Pre-trip check: If you’re going somewhere for more than a few days, check your benefit provider’s website to investigate in-network providers where you’re going.
On the trip: Just like at home, if you need healthcare while you’re on a trip, check your benefit provider’s website to search for an in-network provider before visiting a health care provider.
You might have to pay: Regardless of what’s covered, if you’re in an area your benefits provider doesn’t serve, you might have to pay upfront and get reimbursed after the fact.
Make the call: Of course, the easiest way to get answers is to call the customer service number on your health benefits ID card. If that doesn’t clarify things, talk to your Human Resources team and they should be able to help you get answers.