Traveling soon and have Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance? Important coverage information to take with you:

December 23, 2016

Information about Blue Card® | Insurance when you travel

Do you ever travel out of state or the country? If the answer is, “Yes!”, then it’s important to know how your health insurance works when you’re away from home. As a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) member, you may be able to take your healthcare benefits with you on your trip! Through the BlueCard® Worldwide Program, you can access doctors, hospitals, medical assistance and services around the globe. With the program, you have access almost everywhere and the peace of mind that you’ll be able to find the right medical provider if you need one. In the United States, you have coverage if you need care in urban or rural areas through any Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan in that state. In nearly 200 countries and territories around the world outside of the United States, you have access to doctors and hospitals.

Just follow these steps to participate in the program:

  1. 1. Verify your international benefits with your Blues Plan before leaving the country; benefits may be different outside the United States.
  2. 2. Carry your health insurance ID card or a copy of it with you at all times.
  3. 3. Go directly to the nearest hospital in an emergency and call the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center* if you are admitted to the hospital.
  4. 4. You must call the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center to arrange care at a BlueCard Worldwide® hospital for non-emergency inpatient medical care. The Service Center can also provide information on doctors.

*BlueCard Worldwide Service Center:
Call toll free at 1.800.81.BLUE (2583) or collect at 1.804.673.1177.

You may need a precertification or preauthorization for a service or prescription you need. Your doctor or hospital should call the number on the back of your ID card for precertification or preauthorization. Remember: this is different from the Worldwide Service Center number above.

You can find a doctor or hospital through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder free app. Download it in from App Store or on Google Play. If you prefer speaking to an advocate, you can call Blue Card® Access at 1.800.810.BLUE (2583) for the names and addresses of doctors and hospitals in the area where you need care.

But what happens if you’re traveling out of the country? No worries! You can locate a provider outside the 50 states by taking the following steps:

  • Go to the Blue Worldwide® international website.
  • Accept the terms and enter the ID number from your membership card.
  • Select a Provider Type. Claim forms and brochures are available from a link located at the bottom of the “Select a Provider Type” page.
  • Enter the Provider search criteria and click the Search button to locate a provider where you plan to travel.

But wait! There’s more! Please keep in mind; you may be asked to pay for care received from a doctor and/or hospital at that time. Then, you will need to complete a BlueCard Worldwide® International claim form and send it with the bill(s) to the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center (the address is on the form). The claim form is available from your BCBSMT plan or through the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center online. These can be any type outpatient services like labs, X-rays, office visits, or emergency room visits.

Have you got the travel bug? This program is ideal for regular travel! Thinking of traveling for six months or even more? If that’s the case (I’m a little jealous), then the GeoBlue programs may be ideal for you. For eligibility, FAQs, a brochure or more information visit For more information on the Blue Card® Program, visit the BCBSMT program home page.

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