For those who are traveling rather than retiring overseas, it’s best to be prepared. If you have a medical condition and run out of your prescription, will a foreign pharmacy be able to fill an American prescription? If you have an accident and need to see a doctor or go to the hospital, do you know how your insurance will cover that?
Here are some suggestions when planning for your trip:
- Travel with your daily medications, not in the pharmacy container, but in a day-to-day container. Take enough for a few days in your carry-on luggage and put the remainder in your suitcase.
- Take a list of all your medications. Include the dosage, when you take it and for what condition. Include over-the-counter drugs and any herbal supplements.
- Make a comprehensive list of procedures and/or surgeries that you have had.
- List your allergies and reactions. If you require a procedure that uses an intravenous dye, shellfish is an important allergy to note.
- Tell your medical insurance carrier that you are going out of the country. They will give you specific instructions in case something happens, along with an international phone number to call. Keep this information close at hand with your medical lists/records.
- Write down phone numbers for physicians and emergency contacts.
- File a HIPAA release form with a family member or friend, so if you become seriously ill while traveling, they would be able to obtain information or act on your behalf.
These suggestions are a proactive approach to travel, and if something unexpected happens, they become vital.
Contributed by Margaret Dutcher, RN, CSA