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For retirees: Health coverage outside the U.S.

If you’re planning to travel…

If you’re planning to travel or live abroad, it’s important to check with your health plan to find out about your coverage and costs outside the U.S. All of UC’s medical and dental plans cover emergency/urgent care and prescription drugs wherever you are, but plans differ in their coverage of follow-up and continued care. 

A few things are important to note regardless of your medical plan: 

  • You should expect to pay your costs out-of-pocket and file for reimbursement. 
  • UC’s pharmacy plans cover the same prescription drugs outside the U.S. Since prescription drugs have different brand names outside the U.S., though, it’s crucial that the prescriber specifies the active ingredient(s) on the prescription. 
  • Evacuation costs back to the U.S. for medical care are not covered by UC’s medical plans. Consider purchasing a travel insurance plan that includes coverage for medical evacuation. 

HMO plans 

When you’re traveling, medical and dental HMO plans only cover emergency/urgent care. (For medical HMOs, coverage extends only to trips that are less than three months in duration.) Medical HMO plans do not cover elective procedures, services or medications while outside the U.S. You’ll need to return to network providers in the US for follow-up and continued medical and/or dental treatment. 

HMO members must live in a covered region within California. If you plan to remain outside the U.S. for more than three months, it is considered a “life event” that allows you to switch to a PPO plan outside Open Enrollment. 

PPO plans 

For coverage outside the U.S., care should be coordinated through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core network.

  • CORE and UC Care: When coverage is coordinated through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core network, you pay 20% of the cost after the deductible.
  • UC Health Savings Plan: Only urgent and emergency services are covered. When coverage is coordinated through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core network, you pay 20% of the cost for urgent and emergency services after the deductible.

Medicare plans 

Medicare does not cover care received outside the US, so your coverage outside the U.S. comes only from your UC health plan. This means that if you have a Medicare PPO plan you may be responsible for the portion of the costs that would normally be covered by Medicare. You should check the international benefits of your plan since UC plans differ in coverage outside the U.S.