Holiday Travel: Using UT SELECT While You are Away from Home
As thoughts turn to planning for the upcoming holiday season, the furthest thing from our thoughts may be what to do if we need to access medical services while we are celebrating with friends and family. While we certainly hope for a safe and healthy holiday season for everyone, medical needs sometimes come up when we least expect them.
At home, you probably already know how your UT SELECT coverage works and where to find medical help if needed. While traveling, more questions may come up, especially if your travels take you outside of Texas or even abroad.
Please enjoy happy, safe, and healthy holidays, and keep the information below from the UT SELECT Benefits Guide in mind should you need medical help when you are away from home.
Tips for Domestic Travel:
- If you are outside of Texas and need health care, refer to your UT SELECT Medical ID Card and call BlueCard Access at (800) 810-BLUE (2583) for information on the nearest network doctors and hospitals.
- Although network providers outside of Texas may preauthorize those services that require preauthorization (such as a hospital admission), it is ultimately your responsibility to obtain preauthorization by calling the appropriate number on the back of your UT SELECT Medical ID Card.
- When you arrive at the doctor's office or hospital, present your UT SELECT Medical ID Card. The doctor or hospital will verify eligibility and coverage information.
- After you receive medical attention, the network provider will file claims for you.
- You will be responsible for paying any applicable deductible, copayment or coinsurance amounts, as well as any charges for non-covered services. BlueCard providers have agreed to accept the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan's allowable amount for covered services and will not bill you for any costs exceeding the allowable amount. For more information, see the notice on page 55 of the UT SELECT Benefits Guide regarding Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s separate financial arrangements with providers.
- Should you need to obtain prescription medications while away from home, your UT SELECT prescription coverage (administered by Medco Health) is readily available while you travel within the United States. For domestic claims, you may continue to access the large network of retail providers across the United States just as you would at home by presenting your UT SELECT Prescription ID card at the time of purchase. You can also have many prescriptions transferred to the retail pharmacy in your area of travel if needed.
If your travels take you outside of the United States, you have access through the BlueCard Worldwide program to hospitals on almost every continent and to a broad range of medical assistance services. You may also file claims to access benefits for covered prescription medications obtained while traveling outside of the United States.
Additional Tips for Travel Abroad:
- BlueCard Worldwide provides assistance with:
- Provider location
- Referral information
- Medical monitoring
- Wire transfers/International mailing
- Coverage verification
- Currency conversion
- If you need to locate a doctor or hospital, or need medical assistance, call BlueCard Access at (800) 810-BLUE (2583) or call collect at (804) 673-1177, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A medical assistance coordinator, in conjunction with a medical professional, will arrange hospitalization if necessary. Network benefits will apply for inpatient care at BlueCard Worldwide hospitals.
- In an emergency, go directly to the nearest hospital. Call Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) for preauthorization if necessary at (800) 441-9188. The BCBSTX preauthorization number is listed on the back of your UT SELECT Medical ID card for your reference.
- In most cases you will not need to pay for inpatient care at BlueCard Worldwide hospitals in advance. The hospital should submit your claim on your behalf. You will, however, be responsible for the usual out-of-pocket expenses (non-covered services, deductible, copayment, and coinsurance amounts).
- If you do not use a BlueCard Worldwide provider for care, you must pay the doctor or hospital at the time of service and obtain an itemized receipt as proof of payment. You will then need to fully complete an international claim form (available online from http://www.bcbstx.com/ut) and submit it to the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center along with your proof of payment in order to receive any applicable reimbursement for covered expenses. Missing information will delay claims processing.
- Except for emergency care, if you are normally eligible to receive in-area benefits, out of network benefits will apply towards covered expenses obtained from non-BlueCard Worldwide providers. If you live outside of Texas and are normally covered at the out-of-area benefits level, the out-of-area level of benefits will continue to apply.
- Remember that bills from international providers may differ significantly from the billing that is typically seen within the United States. The bills may not contain the provider’s name and address or other critical information that is needed. Be sure to gather documentation that includes all key details about any services received.
- Should you need to obtain prescription medications while traveling abroad, you will need to pay for your prescription and submit your international claim to Medco Health. Contact Medco Customer Service directly at (800) 818-0155 for instructions or assistance with submitting an international claim.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about accessing and maximizing your UT SELECT benefits for medical services while traveling away from home, please contact UT SELECT customer service at (866) 882-2034 or visit the Blue Access for Members UT SELECT website maintained by BCBSTX. For more information about your UT SELECT prescription benefits while you travel, please contact Medco Health at (800) 818-0155 or visit the Medco Health UT SELECT website. You may also visit the Office of Employee Benefits website to learn more about your UT SELECT medical and prescription coverage or any of your UT Benefits.
New Medco.com Pricing Enhancements
Available November 18, 2009, online pricing applications on www.medco.com/ut – including the My Rx Choices® – were updated to provide greater flexibility in claims pricing with deductibles. This is being done in order to give Medco members the most accurate pricing data available via www.medco.com/ut.
The added flexibility allows members to have co-pay and annual costs calculated as though they have (or have not) satisfied their deductible. Previously, all online pricing and savings tools calculated using point-in-time deductible amounts. With this enhancement, members will be able to change this default and recalculate prescription pricing assuming the deductible has been met, or take advantage of real-time deductible pricing.
The new enhancements provide increased visibility and help you make more informed decisions about prescription costs and possible savings opportunities.
Did You Know?
Medco pharmacists are available 24/7 via Medco Customer Service to discuss your prescription-related questions. Also, patients with chronic and complex diseases can contact a Medco Specialist pharmacist who has expertise discussing long-term medications used to treat conditions like Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Asthma, Depression, Cancer, and health concerns specific to women.
If you prefer to email your questions, you can utilize Medco’s secure email service and “Ask the Specialist Pharmacist” a question from within thewww.medco.com/ut website. Most inquiries are responded to within 24 hours. All questions are handled privately and confidentially.
The services provided to you by Medco are available to UT SELECT participants whether the prescription is filled at retail or through Medco By Mail.
Contact Medco Customer Service at 1-800-818-0155 or visit Medco.com/ut for more information.
If you would like a specific topic discussed or have a question you would like answered in a future issue of this newsletter, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UT System Employee Benefits Website: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/
UT System Retirement Programs Website: www.utretirement.utsystem.edu
Your Local Benefits Office: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/contacts.asp#1