What to do if You Need Medical Care While Traveling

july 6We are in the midst of summer. For many of us, that means we’re traveling! The last thing you want to worry about while sightseeing is having to find medical help. But it can happen. So what should you do? Obviously, if it’s an emergency, don’t worry about insurance, just get yourself to a hospital. However, what do you do if it’s minor… such as foot pain that won’t go away, a toothache or you forget a prescription?

Outside the Coverage Area for Insurance? Here’s What You Do

If you’re traveling to an area that is outside of the area your insurance covers, don’t panic. So what about that prescription you forgot? Joel Giles, Clinical Pharmacy Sales Manager with King Soopers, has a lot of insight into this dilemma. “Patients can seek care and have prescriptions filled in any state,” says Giles. For instance, the computer system at King Soopers is linked to all pharmacies nationally.

If you need medical attention, you can still get help says Giles, “patients can utilize their commercial insurance or Medicare throughout the country. Depending on the plan, higher co payments and other coverage options may be diminished when using out-of-network providers.” However, he points out that you can still receive care and use your insurance plan.

Traveling Abroad?

This can be a really scary situation. If you’re traveling abroad, the possible medical care you can receive will vary from country to country. According to Giles, “For most U.S. citizens traveling abroad, one of the greatest risks would be encountering infectious diseases that are not endemic in the U.S. This is why it is appropriate to receive the proper vaccines depending upon the destination country to prevent diseases such as Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, meningitis, hepatitis A and typhoid to name a few. Also, it is important that travelers are up-to-date with vaccines that are recommended in the U.S. such as flu, measles, tetanus, pertussis, etc.” Giles also notes that you can take antibiotics and other treatments if you’re going to an area where a vaccine is not available for prevention.

While it’s not exciting, it never hurts to do a little research before you travel about what possible medical issues you need to be aware or how to get care if you do run into an issue. You can always call your doctor’s office and let them know where you’re traveling to and what, if any, recommendations they have for you before you go. Here’s to safe travels!