June 20, 2019
Vacations should be great adventures – not medical adventures. With travel season well underway, you’re probably ready to hit the road. But in all the excitement, don’t forget to pack everything you need to keep you and your family healthy.
Do you know where to go if a medical issue arises? We’ve got you covered, in more ways than one. So before you hit the road, check out these vacation tips.
The best way to avoid a medical emergency is to be prepared. The last thing you want to do is find yourself out of medicine or without your insurance card. Here are a few tips to make it easy:
Make a list
Check your refills
Look up the weather
Keep medications secured
Have access to your insurance cards
Benefits that travel with you
You’ve packed your bags, checked the weather, and planned out your route. You’re all set, right? Not quite. Now it’s time to think about your SmartHealth benefits, and how to use them if you need them away from home. Follow these steps, and keep the information together on a piece of paper or in your phone.
Know your network
Before you leave, make sure you search the Provider Directory at mysmarthealth.org, and check all your destination locations for the nearest Ascension Network (Tier 1) hospitals, urgent care centers, convenience care centers, and after-hours clinics. If there are no nearby Tier 1 facilities, keep a list of National Network (Tier 2) providers for each travel destination. You may also want to keep a list of each town’s nearest hospitals -- whether in-network or not – in case a life-threatening emergency arises.
When a medical issue arises
Despite your best preparations, you feel you need medical attention. You have your list of providers, so you know where to go for care. But what if you have other questions about your benefits? If you’re still unsure about your coverage, call SmartHealth customer service at 888-492-6811. The number is also listed on the back of your insurance card. A customer service representative can help you navigate your options and help you get the care you need away from home.
Is it an emergency?
Keep in mind, emergency room benefits are for emergencies only. An emergency is a medical condition considered severe enough that lack of immediate medical attention could place the health of the individual in serious jeopardy, or cause serious impairment of bodily functions. If it’s not an emergency and you seek immediate care, go to an urgent care, convenience care, or after-hours clinic facility.
If your health episode does fall into the category of emergency, seek care at the nearest hospital emergency room, regardless of its network affiliation. No prior authorization is required for emergency room or observation services unless the patient is admitted for care. If admitted after emergency room or observation services, a prior authorization is required from the inpatient facility within two days of admission.
If you’re not healthy, don’t travel.
Sometimes to stay healthy, you have to stay home. Don’t be afraid to postpone your travel plans until you’re feeling better. Traveling can be enjoyable, but it can also be stressful, and it’s not worth the risk if you’re struggling with your health. So stay home, stay healthy, and save that trip for a time when you can really enjoy it.