Take a vacation from worry; plan ahead for travel

“When people go on vacation, they tend to focus on things like reserving hotels and packing,” says Kristin LeGrand, D.O., a family physician with Providence Medical Group-Camas in Camas, Wash. “Most of us don’t give much thought to questions like, ‘Does my insurance plan provide coverage if I become ill or injured in another state or country?’ That’s why we encourage people to take a health care inventory before they depart.”

Review our travel checklist to help ensure you’re prepared.

Before you go:

  • Refill prescriptions. At least three weeks before leaving, determine whether any prescriptions need to be refilled. Bring enough prescription medications, as well as any over-the-counter products you need, to last through your entire trip. When traveling by plane, pack all medications in your carry-on bag.
  • Get your shots. If traveling abroad, be sure you’re adequately immunized against any infectious diseases you might encounter. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and check with your health care provider to find out what you need.
  • Understand your coverage. Before you depart, find out if there’s an urgent care center, emergency room and pharmacy near your vacation destination that will be covered by your insurance. Search our online provider directory for in-network providers. Providence Health Plan members have access to nearly 1 million providers nationwide. For information about international coverage, contact customer service.

Don’t forget:

  • Member ID card. Bring your health insurance membership card with you on vacation. You also can download your card onto your smartphone.
  • First-aid kit. Pack sterile bandages, antibiotic ointment, and an elastic bandage in case of sprains.
  • Health profile. If you need medical care while vacationing, it’s helpful to have a personal health profile that lists your name, age, birth date, allergies, last tetanus shot and your primary care provider’s office phone number.
  • Emergency contacts. Along with a health profile, bring the names and phone numbers of at least two emergency contacts.
  • Claim forms. Just in case you need to receive medical care, it’s a good idea to tuck a few insurance claim forms into your suitcase.
  • Consent-to-treat forms. If your children are staying home, leave a signed consent-to-treat form with their caretaker.

To access a complete, printable health record, or to download claims forms, log in to myProvidence. If you don’t have an account, register for one. It’s easy – and free!