Planning a fall holiday getaway this year? Travel wisely: take the right health cards

November 03, 2021

stack of suitcasesDuring this season of joy and thanksgiving, many of us may spend our holiday time away from home. Whether you are visiting family and friends or enjoying a secluded place you’ve always wanted to go, don’t forget health issues can pop up anywhere and anytime to spoil your vacation. Fortunately, a few simple steps before you leave can help you prevent an unexpected medical issue from ruining your time away from home.

Travel checklist priority: health cards

Make these essential wellness items part of your travel supplies:

  • health and prescription ID cards (if you need replacement cards, you can print one off your plan’s website or call your plan to ask for one; see the plan phone numbers at the end of this article),
  • phone numbers of primary care providers and specialists for you and your eligible dependents,
  • enough prescription maintenance medication to last for your whole trip–plus a few extra days, 
  • any necessary over-the-counter medications, 
  • healthy snacks and
  • an effective face covering and hand sanitizer if you’re traveling by plane, train or bus, or if you expect to stop at crowded travel centers or other roadside stores. Read more tips about how to stay safe if you travel during a pandemic.

HealthSelect of Texas®, Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM or HealthSelect Out-of-StateSM participants

If you are enrolled in a HealthSelectSM medical plan, be sure to review your options for care before you leave town in case you get sick or need emergency care while away. Remember to choose in-network providers, and understand the difference between care facilities, including urgent care clinics and freestanding emergency rooms. 


If you have questions before your holiday travel or while you’re away from home, please contact your health and/or prescription plan at the toll-free phone numbers shown below.

  • HealthSelect medical plans (administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX)): Call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant at (800) 252-8039 (TTY: 711), Monday–Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT and Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT.
  • HealthSelectSM Prescription Drug Program (administered by OptumRx): Call an OptumRx customer care representative at (855) 828-9834 (TTY: 711) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can request an early refill at the pharmacy (or through mail order) as long as you have refills available. You can also ask OptumRx about its Extended Days’ Supply network if you need to fill more than a 30-day supply of a maintenance medication at a retail pharmacy. 

Make your vacation even more relaxing. Take your time, plan ahead for possible health emergencies and travel wisely this holiday season.