UnitedHealthcare: What To Do If You Get Sick, Injured During A Summer Vacation

Dr. Margaret Wilson

NEW ORLEANS – Summer is here, and for many in Louisiana that means trips to destinations domestic and abroad. An all-time record 234.1 million passengers are expected to fly U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, up from 224.8 million a year ago, according to Airlines for America. However, about 20 percent of people suffer some type of illness or injury while on vacation, the most common of which include food poisoning and car crashes.
         Dr. Margaret Wilson, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Global, contributed the following tips you should know before you take off:
Know Before You Go
         Before traveling out of your home state, understand what your health plan covers. People traveling domestically should check if their health plan offers a national or local network of hospitals and care providers, and confirm what coverage is available at out-of-network facilities.
Find Care Anywhere
         Many health plans now offer telemedicine and mobile apps to support their customers’ health needs, including the ability to access a digital ID card, connect with a registered nurse 24/7, and identify nearby care providers, hospitals, pharmacies and urgent care facilities. Public websites, such as www.uhc.com/transparency and www.guroo.com, enable people to compare cost information for hundreds of medical services.
Protection Abroad
         Most domestic health plans provide limited coverage overseas, so people should consider international medical coverage to help alleviate concerns about quality of care and financial anxiety. People should look for global policies that can provide foreign-language translation, direct you to appropriate facilities or support evacuation to alternative facilities, and work with local health care providers to coordinate and monitor care.
Be A Savvy Medicare Traveler
         Original Medicare in nearly all cases applies to the U.S. only and does not extend internationally (other than in cases in the Northern U.S. where the nearest hospital is in Canada). Some Medicare Advantage plans offer worldwide emergency coverage for foreign travel.
         For more information

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