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Road trip! Get ready for spring break by reviewing your Horizon benefits



Gain peace of mind before you head out of town.

After two years+ of a pandemic, travel for spring break – whether for a family excursion or for a college spring fling – is high on many of our to-do lists. While still keeping a watchful eye on COVID-19, we’re also ready to catch up on travel plans that we’ve put on hold for months on end.

But first, make sure you’re well prepared from a health care perspective. Here’s how Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (BCBSNJ) can help members protect their health and budget during their much-deserved time away.

What to know before you go

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.

Do’s and don’ts at your destination

Are you aware of the COVID-19 guidelines that still may apply at your destination? Mask, social distancing, vaccination and testing requirements may vary widely by area. 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.

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 is 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.

It’s business as usual in New Jersey

Any place you may roam in New Jersey – from High Point to Cape May – your coverage will be the same as in your hometown. Just as you would at home, use the Horizon physician finder to locate an in-network doctor, hospital or urgent care center anywhere in New Jersey. That will keep out-of-pocket costs at a minimum.

The other 49 states

If your spring break 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:

  • BlueCard® – 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.
  • Telehealth – There are a wealth of telehealth options available to you, simply by calling a provider or logging in, online, via our website. 

A number of telemedicine options via computer or mobile device may be available to you, depending on your specific plan. For instance,

  • 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 Nurse Chat provides instant access, 24/7, in 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.

Traveling internationally?

In good times and bad, pandemic or no pandemic, healthcare systems and coverage in foreign countries can vary widely from what you have in the U.S. In many cases, you may face huge 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 when traveling outside the US.  Click here to learn more about Global Core coverage and to download a helpful app to find doctors. The app will also help translate medical terms, file a claim and access local emergency information in that country.
  • GeoBlue® – Need more coverage? You can purchase international medical coverage 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, whether on a short trip or a months-long journey. You’ll get quick access to thousands of doctors and hospitals in more than 190 countries, and with little or no out-of-pocket expenses. GeoBlue pays the provider directly; members don’t need to pay upfront or submit claim forms. Customer service is easy, through 24/7 phone, web and mobile support; translation services; and coverage options including medical transportation back to the United States.

Spring break should be a blast. But if something goes awry, Horizon has you covered. Be sure to check out all your coverage and options before you leave home … and before you need it.

Bon voyage!

*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.