Coverage While Traveling

  • Coverage outside of Washington

    Coverage outside of Washington

    Whether you live and work outside of Washington State, or need medical care while traveling, it’s good to understand how to use your health plan.

  • The plan you have determines what your options are. Some plans only cover emergency care outside of the service area. Other plans cover some or all out-of-area care at a lower benefit level. Review your summary of benefits at the beginning of your plan year to get familiar with your care options.

    If you are on a group plan, it’s also a good idea to download the Premera app to easily access your digital member ID card and use Find a Doctor, wherever you are.

    Virtual care, included in your plan

    If you’re away from your plan home area and not sure what to do, you can call a registered nurse who will help you understand if you need immediate care or what your other options are. 24-Hour NurseLine is included in your plan at no extra cost. You can find the number on the back of your member ID card.

    Teladoc®, a visit with a doctor via phone or video, is also available 24/7 and is included in your plan with a copay. Both services are available to you, whether at home or away.

    Individual and family plans

    With Washington individual plans, your providers are in a local network and you don’t have out-of-network coverage except in emergency situations.

    TIP: If you need medical care while away from your network, look for providers that are in the local Blue Cross or Blue Shield network. You will have to pay the entire bill, but it usually is at the Blue discounted rate. You can call the BlueCard number on the back of your ID card to find a BlueCard provider near you.

    Employer and other group plans

    You have BlueCard coverage, which is in-network access to providers that are contracted to Blue Cross or Blue Shield companies. You can tell if you have BlueCard coverage by looking for the small PPO suitcase icon on your member ID card.

    Call the BlueCard Provider Locater phone number on the back of your card or sign in and use Find a Doctor to find providers in the BlueCard network. Be sure to enter the ZIP code of the area you are in.

    Visit the provider and show your member ID card. The provider will verify your Premera membership and coverage.

    After you receive medical attention, the provider will submit the claim to the local Blue Cross or Blue Shield plan, and they'll route it to us. You're responsible only for the out-of-pocket expenses you would normally pay under the requirements of your plan.

    NOTE: The National BlueCard program also includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    International travel

    You can register on the BlueCross BlueShield Global® Core website to find doctors and hospitals outside of the United States. You will most likely be asked to pay the bill directly; be sure to get a copy and mail or scan and submit the claim to Premera via your online account.

    It’s helpful to do your research before traveling, especially if you are traveling internationally, in case you have difficulty accessing websites and phone numbers.