Traveling this summer? Read these crucial health insurance tips from Horizon
4 MINUTE READ
Whether you’re plotting a day trip or weeks of escape, this checklist will help you get organized and plan ahead
School is out, the weather is warm, and peak travel season is upon us. Despite the continued presence of COVID, the "revenge travel” bug is inescapable and many New Jerseyans are planning their first substantial trips in a long time.
People often get travel insurance when they go on vacation—but they don’t always think about their health insurance. At Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey, we want to help our members protect their health and budget during their much-deserved time away. That’s why we put together this cheat sheet.
1. Check your Horizon plan
Does your Horizon plan cover everything you need, wherever you’ll be? Before you leave, use our online chat service or call the customer service number on the back of your membership ID card to ensure you understand how to get the most out of your benefits when you’re away from home.
2. Learn the do's and don'ts at your destination
Keep in mind that COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing, vaccination and testing requirements may still apply depending on where you go. For up-to-date regulations, including the steps necessary to return to the United States, visit this regularly updated Travel page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Be prepared before you go: the Federal government is providing every household with four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Get yours on the US Post Office’s COVID-19 test ordering site. Also, if you are exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or feel symptoms coming on, remember that domestic diagnostic COVID-19 tests are covered for eligible members through the Horizon plan for no out-of-pocket costs. Find out more about COVID-19 test options here.
Because the virus is producing new variants and safety directives are changing all the time, requirements involving mask-wearing will also remain in flux this summer. Wherever you go on your trip, it won’t hurt to bring a mask or two along just in case—in busy airports and cities, you’ll be glad you brought them.
3. Know what to do in the case of an emergency
If you need emergency medical treatment, go to the closest emergency room immediately. Your health and safety are more important than anything. If away from home, but within the U.S, all emergency care is covered at your plan’s in-network benefits rate. That’s true whether the hospital providing emergency care is in- or out-of-network.
4. Have a plan for New Jersey travel
No matter where you may roam in New Jersey – from High Point to Cape May – your coverage will be the same as in your hometown. Use the Horizon physician finder to locate a nearby in-network doctor, hospital or urgent care center anywhere in New Jersey to help keep out-of-pocket costs at a minimum.
5. Have a plan for travelling in the other 49 states
If your summer travels take you to any other U.S. state, the District of Columbia, or U.S. territory, you have lots of options depending on your specific Horizon plan:
Your plan may include BlueCard coverage. If so, you can access Blue Cross Blue Shield’s national network of doctors, hospitals, and urgent care centers whenever you need care. To find out if you have BlueCard coverage, look at the front side of your Horizon insurance card; if it displays a suitcase icon in the lower right corner, you’ve got it. Visit the Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder, or call the member services number on the back of your membership ID card or 1-888-630-BLUE, to find a physician or health care facility included under the BlueCard umbrella
- Out-of-network coverage
If your plan doesn’t include BlueCard but does include benefits for out-of-network care, get non-emergency care from any doctor, hospital or urgent care center per your out-of-network policy coverage terms. Check before you go, however, as some policies don’t include out-of-network benefits. Call if you’re not sure or use our out-of-network cost calculator, which gives users a 360-degree view of their medical costs.
There are a wealth of telehealth options available to you, simply by calling a provider or logging in, online, via our website.
- Horizon CareOnline℠ allows you to talk with a U.S. board-certified, licensed doctor via video, chat or phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You never need to make an appointment.
- Horizon BCBSNJ’s Nurse Chat provides instant access, 24/7 support to all 50 states.
- The Horizon Blue mobile app has access available for any telehealth option available with your healthcare plan. Before you travel, download the app and sign-in before so there’s no delay in getting access to your benefits. Download the app by texting “GetApp” to 422-272 or searching for “HorizonBlue” in the Apple® or Google® app stores. Horizon does not charge a fee to download the Horizon Blue app, but data rates from your wireless provider may apply.
6. Prepare for an international trip
In good times and bad, pandemic or no pandemic, health care systems and coverage in foreign countries can vary widely from those in the U.S. You might even face significant out-of-pocket expenses from a sudden and unexpected health emergency in an international destination. So plan ahead, review your coverage, and consider these other options available to you that could minimize your costs:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core
Do you have BlueCard coverage through your Horizon plan? If so, you are automatically enrolled in Global Core, which provides coverage for emergency and urgent care outside the US. Click here to learn more.
Need more coverage? You can purchase it through GeoBlue, whether or not you already have a Horizon BCBSNJ plan. GeoBlue provides comprehensive, low-cost, high-quality coverage for individuals and groups traveling abroad.
7. Know the COVID-19 high-risk locations
Many popular travel destinations are currently in the high-risk category established by the CDC to measure COVID safety around the world. The CDC recommends making sure you are up to date with your COVID vaccines before traveling to these destinations.
On behalf of Horizon, have a great summer!
*There is no charge to download the Horizon Blue app, but Message and Data Rates may apply (from your wireless provider). Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey SMS/Texting Terms and Conditions
**Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.. Google is a registered trademark of Google LLC.
***GeoBlue is the trade name for the international health insurance program of Worldwide Insurance Services (WIS), an independent licensee of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield Global is a brand owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. BlueCard® is a registered trademark of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
*Horizon CareOnline℠ is a service mark of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Not all members have access to Horizon CareOnline. Members should check with their benefits administrator or plan documents