Are you covered when you travel? Your health insurance questions answered

Whether you’re taking the family to a faraway beach or just enjoying a jaunt to a neighboring state, you’ll want to pack the peace of mind that health insurance brings.

You might be wondering if your health insurance will cover your expenses if you need medical attention when you’re away from home.

The first step toward understanding your coverage is to do some research.

  • Review any materials you may have received from your insurer in the mail
  • Check your insurer’s website to see if there is any information about out-of-area coverage or accessing care while traveling
  • Call the phone number on the back of your insurance card if you have questions

Do you have questions about full, in-network access to UPMC doctors and hospitals? Call our help line at 1-855-646-8762.

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Are Virtual Visits an Option?

Some health care organizations offer virtual visits without an appointment, which let you connect with a provider and get the personalized care you need without having to locate a hospital or urgent care center. These visits usually occur in real time on your computer, phone, or tablet and are a handy option for non-emergency or non-urgent care when you’re away from home.

UPMC offers Anywhere Care, a service that lets you see a health care professional via secure, high-quality streaming video. During a virtual visit, your health care provider can generally find out what’s wrong, diagnose your problem, and prescribe medication if needed. Children must be at least age 3 to be treated via UPMC AnywhereCare.

A virtual visit is the quickest way to get you back to enjoying your vacation when minor health issues (e.g., sunburn, colds, back pain, pink eye, poison ivy, etc.).  You can link to Anywhere Care from MyUPMC or go to it directly at

UPMC HealthTrak, also available through MyUPMC, is another virtual tool for your travel kit. HealthTrak lets you communicate securely with your doctor, view your medical records, request prescription refills, and more.

Are you covered when you travel? Your health insurance questions answered

What If I Need to Go to the Emergency Room?

Whether your insurance is through UPMC Health Plan, a national insurer, or another organization, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hospital emergency departments to provide appropriate medical screenings and care to anyone seeking treatment for a medical condition, regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay.

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For UPMC Health Plan members:

If your insurance is through UPMC Health Plan and you have a medical emergency while you are traveling outside of the UPMC Health Plan service area, you should go to the nearest facility and get help.

If you need care, but it’s not an emergency, UPMC Health Plan has an extended national network that can be used by members who need unplanned medical care while traveling.

To find a participating provider in the extended network, call Member Services at the phone number on the back of your member ID card. You can also search the online provider directory for a participating provider in the extended network.

What Are Some Other Benefits of Having Insurance Through UPMC Health Plan?

If your insurance plan is through UPMC Health Plan, you’re in luck!  In addition to virtual visits and a national extended network, our global emergency travel partner, Assist America®, can connect you  whether you’re 100 miles away from home or halfway around the world.

Assist America can help you with medical evaluations and referrals, prescriptions, foreign hospital admissions, and more. This free service is easy to use — simply call one of these phone numbers to connect with a trained operator:

  • Within the United States: 1-800-872-1414
  • Outside the United States: 1-609-986-1234
  • Global Emergency Services Reference Number: 01-AA-UP-156243

Call the UPMC Health Plan’s Health Care Concierge team at 1-855-869-7228 if you have any questions about coverage when you travel.

Have a safe and happy trip!


About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.