Are you heading home or traveling for the holidays? With Christmas right around the corner, we’ve put together a brief benefit-related checklist of things to bring with you or to have in order as you plan and pack for your upcoming trip.
Provide updated emergency contact information to your employer, family members and friends before heading out.
Verify and update your beneficiaries. Did you know that beneficiary forms take precedence over last wills and testaments in court? This includes beneficiaries listed under life insurance products, retirement plans, and health savings accounts (HSAs). For more information, read Updating Your Beneficiaries: Why It Matters.
If you use prescription medications and/or supplies, take enough medication refills to last your entire trip, including some extra just in case. Keep medication in the original, labeled containers to avoid confusion and to use as a reference. This is recommended by the U.S. Department of State as well as packing all medications in your carry-on bag in the event your luggage gets lost.
If you have health conditions that may require emergency care, such as diabetes or serious allergies, carry an identification card or wear a bracelet.
Being out of your normal routine, set your watch or phone with medication reminders.
If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, bring a copy of your prescription (numbers are recognized worldwide).
Be sure to bring your health insurance ID cards or download any mobile applications available ahead of time.
Check to make sure you are covered while traveling under your health insurance plan. The Alliance Health Plan includes a rich Travel Assistance Program giving a local presence in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. This program is available to participants at no additional charge. Contact Alliance Benefits for more information on how to access these benefits.
Locate hospitals, clinics and emergency services ahead of time in your destination area.
Verify if your health insurance plan includes any type of telemedicine services. The Alliance Health Plan participants receive free access to First Stop Health, a telemedicine service providing 24/7 access to U.S.-based physicians.
If flying, the Transportation Security Administration has standard procedures on how they handle certain disabilities or medical conditions. For details, refer to their list of Special Procedures.
Flu activity peaks between December and February and can last as late as May. If you haven’t yet had your flu vaccination this season, it’s not too late! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated now if they haven’t already. Getting a flu shot may reduce the severity of the infection even when the vaccine doesn’t prevent the influenza virus itself.
If traveling overseas, the CDC also provides great resources relating to recommended immunizations, current disease outbreaks worldwide, weather warnings and general overall advice for wherever you might be traveling. Visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel for more information.
Happy packing, safe travels, and have a Merry Christmas!
Crista Murray joined Alliance Benefits in June 2009 and has been with The Christian and Missionary Alliance for over seventeen years. She is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the day-to-day execution of marketing strategies and communication efforts for both the health and retirement plans.