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.
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 to get information.
The Washington team can help you get a medical record number (MRN) or health record number (HRN) for the other Kaiser Permamente service area, then make an appointment.
You'll only use this MRN or HRN in the service area you're visiting. You'll use the same MRN or HRN whenever you visit the service area. There's no need to get a new MRN or HRN if you visit the service area again.
When you get back home to the Washington region, you'll use your home member identification 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 chemical dependency 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 documents*) 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 documents*)
- 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, eyeglasses, and contacts
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 member identification card.
Urgent care outside Kaiser Permanente service areas
In states without Kaiser Permanente providers, you can visit any urgent care location, retail clinic, or CVS MinuteClinic® instead of a hospital emergency department.
For care at a CVS MinuteClinic®, 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®, 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® 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.
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. You'll pay one copay for each 30-day supply.
Prescriptions that you fill outside our service area may not be covered. Contact Member Services for questions about your prescription benefits.
*To 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.