You’ve thoughtfully planned for every stocking stuffer, packed all the suitcases and brought the hostess gifts.

But here’s what you haven’t planned for: getting sick on your holiday vacation. While scrunched up in little Maddie’s twin bed, you realize you’re sick and a hot water bottle isn’t going to turn it around. And your illness is wreaking havoc on your holiday plans. 

Being sick or injured is bad enough, but when it happens when you’re away from home, it can be worse. You can’t go to your doctor, so what can you do about it?

Options for Care Away from Home

Your first thought might be to go straight to an emergency room (ER). After all, you want to be better in time to help decorate the cookies!

But not so fast. The ER can be a very expensive place to get a fancy bandage and some aspirin. For situations that aren’t life-threatening, here are a few other options that usually cost less than an ER.

Retail Health Clinics: Walk-in clinics are often located in stores and pharmacies to offer convenient, low-cost treatment for minor medical problems. Some clinic locations also offer 24-hour prescription services, which can keep you from roaming unfamiliar neighborhoods looking for a place to get your prescription filled. 

Urgent Care Centers: They’re not meant for a true emergency, but for when you need immediate care. They are able to treat ailments like sprained ankles, animal bites, sinus infections, stiches, x-rays, fevers, and minor cuts and injuries.

Find a Doctor or Hospital

Either on your own or with help, be sure to check your choices to find the in-network care you need. If you are on extended stay and want to find a doctor, try one of these two options.

  • Provider Finder® is a free online tool you can use to help find a doctor or hospital in your network.
  • The BCBSNM app can help you find a doctor, hospital or urgent care facility. You can use your phone’s GPS location or input a ZIP code, and the app can pinpoint the closest provider to you. To download the free BCBSNM app, text “BCBSNM APP” to 33633* or go to the iTunes App Store or Google Play store.

When you go for care, be sure to take your insurance card and a form of ID, the name of your primary care doctor, and a form of payment.

It can be scary to be in need of care when you are not at home. If you have questions on what your health plan covers, call the customer service number on your member ID card.

Visit Where You Go Matters to find out more about how to choose the best place to go for care.