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Understanding How Family Healthcare Can Differ While Traveling Across State Lines

Traveling with your family can involve plenty of fun and excitement, but it can also mean an unexpected injury or illness. Understanding the ways that health care differs across state lines can help you to avoid any unpleasant surprises. If you need health care while traveling with your family, keep these issues in mind.

Availability of Services
Family health services that are available in the state where you live may not be available in the state that you are visiting. Some states restrict the provision of certain types of health services, such as family planning or prescriptions for certain medications. Specialty services such as telemedicine may also not be available in a state. The Health Affairs website explains that as many as 18 states do not allow for the provision of telemedicine across state lines.

Who Can Provide Health Care
Another important difference in the delivery of health care services across state lines is who can provide different types of services. In some states, a nurse practitioner can diagnose common conditions such as influenza, sinus infections and pink eye and prescribe treatments for those conditions. In other states, nurse practitioners are not allowed to write prescriptions. You can check the licensure of any health care practitioner with services such as MedPro which has fast WebID medical license verification.

Out-of-pocket Costs
The cost of family health care can also differ while traveling across state lines. Some states have laws around the pricing of services such as vaccines and prescription medications. If you are visiting an out of network provider, you may have to pay for the entire cost of any health care services out of your own pocket and then apply for reimbursement from your insurer.

Insurance Coverage
Your health insurance may not cover providers or services that are performed out of network unless it is an emergency situation. If you have insurance through a state program such as Medicaid, your benefits may not be accepted while traveling. This may also be true for some types of private insurance. You may have to get any services pre-authorized by your insurance in order to have them covered while traveling in another state.

When you have a family health emergency, get the care you need and worry about the bills later. You may be able to apply for hardship coverage or work out a payment plan. Your family’s health and safety while traveling can also be protected with a traveler’s health insurance policy rider.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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