Medical care during international travel

Your medical benefits through the Board of Pensions include coverage through BCBS Global and/or International SOS for medically necessary services when traveling outside the United States.

When planning international travel, review the following information and call Quantum Health at 855-497-1237 to discuss available coverage.

Global Care (telemedicine)

If you are enrolled in the PPO, EPO, or HDHP medical option,* you and your covered family members have access to Global Care through the Teladoc mobile app. Global Care allows you to:

  • talk to a U.S. licensed physician for nonemergency conditions, such as a sore throat, rash, or sinus infection, 24/7 from anywhere in the world
  • receive a diagnosis and recommended treatment advice as well as medication recommendations you can take to a local pharmacy for further assistance

To download the free app, open the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search for Teladoc. To request a consult, log on, request a general medical visit, and indicate your current location.

BCBS Global

If you are enrolled in the PPO, EPO, or HDHP,* you and your covered family members may use BCBS Global for medical care and assistance during an international trip. The program includes access to:

  • inpatient hospital care (precertification required)
  • outpatient hospital care and physician services
  • assistance locating recommended hospitals and physicians

If you are enrolled in the EPO or HDHP, only services by network providers are covered.

Remember to:

  • carry your medical ID card wherever you go
  • go directly to the nearest hospital in an emergency

How it works

If you are looking for a doctor or hospital, or need inpatient care when you are outside the United States, visit the BCBS Global website, or call the BCBS Global Service Center at 800-810-2583 or collect at 804-673-1177, 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • If you need to locate a doctor or hospital, an assistance coordinator (together with a medical professional) will arrange an appointment or hospitalization, if necessary. Precertification requirements may apply.
  • If you need inpatient care, BCBS Global can help you arrange direct billing between the provider and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. In most cases, you should not need to pay upfront for inpatient care except for the out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, copays, and/or coinsurance as well as any noncovered services) you normally pay. The hospital should submit the claim on your behalf.

In addition to contacting BCBS Global, call Quantum Health at 855-497-1237 for precertification.

For outpatient and doctor care, or inpatient care not arranged through BCBS Global, you may have to pay for services upfront, when you receive treatment (cash, travelers’ checks, and credit cards usually are accepted). If you pay for treatment, you can submit a claim for reimbursement. Claims may be submitted online through the BCBS Global website or through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core mobile app available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. If you prefer to submit your claim by mail, you can download a claim form from the BCBS Global website and mail the completed form along with copies of your bill(s) to the address on the form.

International SOS

If you are enrolled in the PPO, EPO, or HDHP*, you and your covered family members are eligible for assistance from International SOS (ISOS). Retired members with medical coverage through the Board of Pensions also are eligible.

Assistance from ISOS includes the following:

  • help with emergency medical evacuation  
  • 24-hour access to International SOS physicians for emergency and routine medical advice
  • 24-hour access to International Alarm Centers for medical information, referrals, and emergency assistance 
  • access to multilingual specialists, who can assist you in communicating with healthcare providers
  • medical and dental referrals
  • case management

To access ISOS services, call the nearest assistance center (see below) and provide the membership number 11BCMA000136. No card is needed to access services, but this reference card contains all the relevant information. Or, download the International SOS Assistance mobile app (available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store) for on-the-go access to expert advice and support through the ISOS assistance center. You can also use the app to receive alerts and risk updates specific to your location.

Assistance center Phone Fax
Mexico, Central or South AmericaCall Philadelphia, PA, collect:
Canada 800-441-4767 
Europe, CIS (former Soviet Republic), Africa, or the Middle East Call London, England, collect:
Asia, Australia, or the Pacific RimCall Singapore collect: 65-6338-7800 65-6338-7611

*Those enrolled in Triple-S or GeoBlue should consult their plan for information about covered services while traveling internationally.