Medical care during international travel

​As a Medical Plan member, you have coverage through BCBS Global, International SOS, or both, for medically necessary services when traveling outside the United States. When planning international travel, review the following information and call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) to discuss available coverage.

BCBS Global

If you and your eligible family members are enrolled in the Highmark PPO, EPO, or HDHP,* you have access to the BCBS Global program. The services that may be accessed through BCBS Global include

  • inpatient hospital care (pre-certification required);
  • outpatient hospital care and physician services; and
  • assistance locating recommended hospitals and physicians.

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

With the BCBS Global program, you 

  • typically will pay only the out-of-pocket expenses you normally pay, such as deductibles and copayments, if you receive inpatient care at a BCBS Global hospital; and 
  • may have to pay up front for 
    • outpatient care and doctor's charges; and 
    • inpatient care not arranged through the BCBS Global Service Center.

When paying up front, cash, traveler's checks, and credit cards typically are accepted. If paying for treatment, send all bills with a claim form to Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for reimbursement.

For assistance call the BCBS Global Service Center at 804-673-1177 (call collect from outside the United States), or visit the BCBS Global website. Pre-certification requirements apply.

International SOS

If you are an active employee enrolled in the PPO, EPO, or HDHP*, you and your eligible family members are eligible for assistance from International SOS (ISOS). Retired members with coverage under the Medicare Supplement Plan 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, go to the International SOS website to learn about the ISOS app, which provides medical and security information, by country.

Assistance center​​Phone​Fax
Mexico, Central or South America​​Call 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 Rim​Call 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.