Whether traveling across the country or around the world, the BlueCard Program helps Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) members:
- Get needed health care when you travel or live outside your Blue Plan service area
- Get the same benefits as your BCBSIL plan when you travel or are away from home for an extended amount of time
- Find a doctor or hospital throughout the United States — More than 90% of all hospitals and doctors in the U.S. contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS)
- Find a doctor or hospital outside the U.S. in more than 200 countries around the world through Blue Cross and Blue Shield Global Core
BCBSIL HMO Members have access to the AWAY FROM HOME CARE® PROGRAM
Access for Extended Stays (Temporarily Residing Away From Home)
BCBSIL members who have HMO plans may become guests of an affiliated HMO when they are away from home for at least 90 days. The Away From Home Care Program is ideal for members who:
- Have a child attending school out of state
- Have family members who live in different service areas
- Have a long-term work assignment in another state
This program allows ongoing access to contracting hospitals and doctors.
Information about Blue Card® | Insurance when you travel
If you travel outside of the country, you should know how your health insurance works away from home. As a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) member, you may be able to take your healthcare benefits with you when you are gone! Through the BlueCard Worldwide® Program, you have access to doctors and hospitals around the world. The program gives you access almost everywhere, bringing you the peace of mind that you’ll be able to find the right health care provider should you need one. In the United States, you’re covered whether you need care in rural or urban areas through any Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan in that state. Outside of the U.S., you have access to doctors and hospitals in nearly 200 countries and territories around the world.
To participate, just follow these easy steps:
- Confirm your international benefits with your Blues Plan before leaving the country; benefits may change outside the country.
- Carry your health insurance ID card.
- In an emergency, go directly to the nearest hospital. If hospitalized, call the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center*.
*BlueCard Worldwide Service Center:
Call toll free at 1.800.81.BLUE (2583) or collect at 1.804.673.1177.
- If you do not have access to a phone, you can use the online chat feature on the bottom right of this site 24/7.
- For non-emergency inpatient medical care , you must call the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center to arrange care at a BlueCard Worldwide® hospital. The Service Center can also provide information on doctors.
You may need to get a preauthorization or precertification for a service or prescription you need. Your doctor or hospital should call the number listed on the back of your BCBSIL ID card for preauthorization or precertification. Keep in mind; this is different from the Worldwide Service Center number above.
If you are traveling out of the country, you can find a provider outside the U.S. by taking the following steps:
- Go to the Blue Worldwide® international website.
- Accept the terms and enter the ID number from your membership card.
- Choose 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 search criteria and click the Search button to find a provider where you plan to travel.
If you’re traveling in the 50 states, you can find a doctor or hospital through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder free app. Find it in the 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 where you need care.
Wait! There’s more! Remember; you may have to pay upfront for care received abroad. If this happens, you will need complete a BlueCard Worldwide® International claim form and send it with your bill(s) to the BlueCard Worldwide® Service Center (the address is on the form). The claim form is available from your BCBSIL plan or through the BlueCard Worldwide® Service Center online. These can be any services like office visits, labs, X-rays, or emergency room visits.)
Thinking of traveling for six months or more? If so (I’m a little jealous), then the GeoBlue programs may be ideal for you. For FAQs, eligibility, a brochure or more information visit GeoBlue Website . For more information on the BlueCard® Program, see this flier or visit the BCBSIL program home page.