Are you covered?

Peter Paul and Mary once hit the music charts with “Leaving on a Jet Plane” It was one of my favorites for the era I fondly remember as my Folk Music period. It unfortunately raises a question for any Health Insurance covered person that until now is seldom asked. Am I covered when I am travelling on a jet plane to say another state or country?

The easy answer to the question when asked about other countries is “NO”! Your coverage stops at the beach as you fly to that exotic get a way in a foreign land. So rule one to remember is talk to your travel agent or call your health insurance broker to be sure that where you are going has options to take care of any issue that could arise.

A number of clients in the movie production business regularly go out of the country to Europe or Asia and need an off shore plan that is readily available from Lloyds of London. It can be purchased for specific days and the costs are reasonable. I had a Charter Company cover their Pilots and Crew at all of the fuel stops they commonly visit around the world. A card kept in the Jet cockpit had the details on where to get a malady looked at in what ever port they were in.

Let’s add that PPO or Preferred Provider Networks policy usually provide coverage around the country and a Flu bug caught in say Chicago can easily get you a Doc visit as though you were in California. The insured merely inquires of the Medical provider is contracted with the carrier they have coverage with.

The HMO client other than Kaiser covered people may have a more difficult time. The coverage only allows for life threatening treatment. If you have a bad flu bug you are paying for the office visit out of pocket and likely at full non contracted prices. Reimbursement is a process and usually at lower in network benefit rates if its life threatening. So, HMO covered people have little coverage out of their home area or state. Kaiser, which is getting larger and larger and more available around the country does honor your local HMO benefits.

When Leaving on A Jet Plane, be sure you are covered! You never know when your coming back again!  Oh Babe, I’d hate to see you go uncovered!