Traveling This Year? How to Find the Right Medical Care on the Road
Nobody likes getting sick or injured, but when you’re far from home—which many people are throughout the year—an unforeseen health issue can be especially hard to deal with. Not only are you out of your element and far from the comforts of home, but you also might be unsure of where to go to get help. As a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan member, you can rest assured that you always have access to qualified, cost-effective health care, regardless of where you are. Here’s how to figure out where to go:
- 24-Hour Nurse Line: The close quarters of an airplane make it easy to catch a cold or virus, not to mention the air pressure changes that can cause a sinus infection. For non-emergencies like these, the free 24- Hour Nurse Line connects you with a registered nurse any time of day or night. The nurses can help you assess your situation and will direct you where to go to seek care. Make this call from anywhere—a hotel room in Detroit or your aunt’s guest room in Cleveland. To speak with a nurse, call 1-800-775-2583 (for Blue Cross PPO members) or 1-855-624-5214 (for Blue Care Network HMO members).
- Online Doctor Visits: If you came in contact with someone on the train who had the flu and now you have it too, you can seek care without having to leave your hotel room or family members’ couch online with a virtual doctor’s visit. You’ll get face-to-face time with a U.S. board-certified doctor who will come up with a treatment plan and prescribe you any necessary medications. At the end of the visit, you’ll receive a summary to share with your primary doctor once you get back home.
- Retail Health Clinics: No matter where you’re traveling, chances are the local supermarkets and drug stores have a retail health clinic near the pharmacy area. This is a clinic within the store where you can get care from a licensed nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. Don’t let minor illnesses, like a urinary tract infection or pink eye, ruin your vacation plans! These clinics are a good place to get care without an appointment, if there is a location near you. You can even pick up your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications right after being seen. Log in here to find a nearby retail health clinic.
- Urgent Care Center: If you have a more serious vacation mishap, like a throbbing earache or a painful, blistering sunburn, consider visiting a nearby urgent care center. Planning around your busy itinerary is hard, but urgent care centers don’t require an appointment and provide in-person consultation with a doctor quickly. Many also offer lab and diagnostic services, plus extended hours at nights and on weekends; all of which is convenient when you’re traveling around the holidays.
- Emergency Room: If your life is in danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Remember to follow up with your primary care doctor when you get home.
- Traveling Abroad: Individual coverage may vary depending on your plan when traveling outside the U.S. Visit www.bcbsm.com/travel for more information regarding specific benefits or read more here.
Getting sick or injured while you’re traveling is the last thing you want to worry about, but in case it happens to you or your loved one, we have you covered — just visit the handy Find Care site to explore the care choices you have anywhere you may be, at any time of day.
If you liked this post and want to learn more about getting expert health advice and treatment, head over to these stories:
- Where for Care: Providers for Every Need
- Understanding Your Health Care Choices After Common Holiday Mishaps
- Urgent Care Doctors: There When Your Need Them
Photo credit: Pxhere