When you are traveling
Plan ahead and know what to do if you need medical help while you're traveling or temporarily living outside our region.
Need care while traveling? If you expect to seek care outside the Kaiser Permanente Washington region:
- Call Member Services at 1-888-901-4636. They can help you find the closest in-network care option, whether you're traveling within the United States or internationally.
- If you're a Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage member, call Medicare Member Services at 1-888-901-4600, TTY 711, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.
Travel within the United States
How do I get care in other Kaiser Permanente service areas?
You can get covered care at Kaiser Permanente facilities outside the Washington region in these other service areas:
- Washington state (Clark and Cowlitz counties)
- Washington D.C.
Before you access care for the first time in another Kaiser Permanente service area, call the Washington visiting member line at 1-800-446-4296 for more information and where to seek care.
The Washington team can help you get a Health/Medical Record number for the other Kaiser Permanente service area, then make an appointment.
You'll only use this number in the service area you're visiting. You'll use the same number whenever you visit the service area. There's no need to get a new number if you visit the service area again.
When you get back home to the Washington region, you'll use your home Medical Record number to get care.
What services are covered in a Kaiser Permanente service area outside the Washington region?
Examples of services covered in other Kaiser Permanente service areas:
- Prescription drugs, if covered in Washington region
- Inpatient services, including: hospitalization, inpatient surgery, and other services you get while you're admitted
- Outpatient services, such as:
- Office visits
- Certain outpatient surgeries
- Allergy tests and allergy injections
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Prenatal and postnatal care
- Vision exams
- X-ray and laboratory services, in and out of hospital
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, as covered in Washington region
- Skilled nursing facility services
- Home health care services (part-time or intermittent services inside a Kaiser Permanente service area)
- Hospice services (home-based services inside a Kaiser Permanente service area)
Examples of services available with prior approval from Kaiser Permanente Washington
Services included in your plan (as described in your coverage documents1) and available in the host region may be available to you but require approval from Kaiser Permanente Washington.
Services requiring prior approval may include:
- Services related to infertility and artificial conception
- Gender-confirming surgery and related services, other than services determined to be provided by all regions
- Services related to bariatric surgery and treatment
- Organ and blood/marrow transplants and related care
- Durable medical equipment
- Chronic dialysis
- Orthotics and prosthetics
Examples of services not available from Kaiser Permanente providers when you're outside your home service area
These services, equipment, and supplies aren't available from Kaiser Permanente providers outside the Kaiser Permanente Washington service area:
- Services not covered under your plan (as described in your coverage documents1)
- Dental services and dental X-rays (nonemergency or nonurgent dental services/X-rays are covered under a different benefit)
- Alternative medicine and complementary care
- Hearing aids
If I need care outside the Kaiser Permanente Washington region, can I use virtual care options?
If you travel out of Washington state, virtual care could be limited due to state laws that may prevent doctors from providing care across state lines. Laws differ by state.
You can get in-person care at any Kaiser Permanente medical facility in the country, in-network urgent care facility, or CVS MinuteClinic® and Concentra urgent care center in states without Kaiser Permanente facilities. You do not need a referral for these in-person care options, but you will have a cost depending on your plan benefits.
To learn about your options for care outside of the Kaiser Permanente Washington region, call Member Services at 1-888-901-4636 before seeking care, whether in-person or virtual. If you’re a Medicare Advantage member, call Medicare Member Services at 1-888-901-4600. We’ll guide you to your best care option.
What if I need emergency or urgent care?
Emergency and urgent care within the United States
No matter what health plan you have, you're covered for emergency and urgent care when you're away from the Kaiser Permanente Washington region.
If you have a medical emergency while traveling, call 911 or the local emergency assistance number immediately. Then within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible, call our Hospital Notification Line for the United States at 1-888-457-9516 (206-901-4609), option #3 and option #4, so we can follow up on your care.
If you need urgent care while traveling, call your personal physician during office hours. And at any time, wherever you are, you can call the Consulting Nurse Service at the number on your Kaiser Permanente ID card. However, please note: There will be limitations to the advice provided, since our Kaiser Permanente consulting nurses do not hold licenses outside of Washington and Idaho.
Urgent care outside Kaiser Permanente service areas
For care at a CVS MinuteClinic® or a Concentra urgent care center, you'll be charged your standard copay or coinsurance. Be sure to bring your Kaiser Permanente ID card and method of payment. Walk-ins welcome, no appointment needed.
For care at an urgent care or retail clinic location other than a CVS MinuteClinic® or Concentra urgent care center, you'll be asked to pay up front for services you receive and will need to file a claim for reimbursement.
Note: If you get urgent care at a CVS MinuteClinic® or a Concentra urgent care center within a state with Kaiser Permanente providers, you'll be asked to pay up front for services you receive and will need to file a claim for reimbursement. If you can safely visit a nearby Kaiser Permanente facility instead, consider doing so for a simpler payment process.
Emergency and urgent care outside the United States
If you have been hospitalized outside the United States and need assistance, call our international Hospital Notification Line at 1-888-457-9516 (206-901-4609), option #2.
If you're in an emergency situation outside the United States, you'll need to know how to contact the police, an ambulance, or even the fire department. For more information, visit the State Department website, international travel section.
What is the Travel Advisory Service?
Our Travel Advisory Service provides customized health recommendations for members traveling internationally, including information about travel vaccinations and medications.
Learn more about the Travel Advisory Service.
Tips for managing prescriptions
Be sure to pack enough of your prescription medication before leaving on a trip. You can ask your doctor for up to a 90-day supply if you need it. In most cases, you'll pay one copay for each 30-day supply. Refer to your Evidence of Coverage or your Summary of Benefits & Coverage for your specific benefit.
Prescriptions that you fill outside our service area may not be covered. Contact Member Services for questions about your prescription benefits.
1To check coverage under your Kaiser Permanente health plan: sign in at kp.org/wa and click Coverage & Costs, then select Coverage Documents under Benefits. You'll find coverage information in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage Agreement for your plan.