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Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer
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 your thoughts may be what to do if you need medical services while you are away from home 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.
You’re probably already familiar with how your UT SELECT Medical and Prescription coverage work when you’re at home and where to find medical help or fill prescriptions if needed. When you’re traveling, you may have more questions, especially if your travels take you outside of Texas or even out of the country.
Wherever you will be, 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 or prescription medications 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 about the nearest network doctors and hospitals.
- Although network providers outside of Texas may preauthorize those services that require it (such as a hospital admission), it is ultimately your responsibility to obtain the proper preauthorization by calling the appropriate number on the back of your UT SELECT Medical ID Card.
- When you arrive at a doctor's office or hospital, present your UT SELECT Medical ID Card. The doctor or hospital will verify your eligibility and coverage information.
- After you receive medical attention, a 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 about provider agreements, please 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 fill prescriptions while you’re away from home, your UT SELECT prescription coverage (administered by Medco Health) can be used throughout the United States. 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 pharmacy at the time of purchase. In many cases, you can also have prescriptions that are on file at a pharmacy near your home transferred if needed to a retail pharmacy in the area where you’re travelling.
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.
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 while travelling outside of the United States, 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 BlueCard Access as soon as possible to alert BCBS to the medical emergency and for any authorization issues. 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 the Blue Access for Members UT SELECT website) 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 directly to Medco Health for reimbursement. 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 Customer Service at (800) 818-0155 or visit the Medco Health 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.
As an international traveler, additional services are also available through the UT System-wide International SOS program. International SOS is a comprehensive, 24-hour medical and emergency response organization that works on your behalf to coordinate with your insurance provider in the United States and providers abroad to ensure that you receive the assistance you need.
Membership benefits through International SOS are available at no cost when traveling abroad on University business and are available at a discount for traveling companions and for employees or dependents traveling abroad for leisure.
For additional information regarding the International SOS program, please contact your Institution Travel Office.
More detailed information and a quick reference guide for the International SOS program and the UT SELECT Medical plan can be found on the Foreign Coverage Quick Reference Sheet.