Now that the weather’s heating up and the vaccine is rolling out, many people are starting to think about taking a vacation again. A Harris Poll found that 77% of Americans are planning to travel this summer – compared to only 29% who planned a leisure trip during the summer of 2020.
Safety is still an issue, though, and many seniors are especially vulnerable. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy during your summer travels.
Consider Getting Vaccinated
If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet, you should seriously consider doing so before you go on vacation. The vaccine takes a little while to be effective, so you’re not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after your vaccination. If the vaccine requires two doses, that’s two weeks after the second dose.
You can go to Vaccines.gov to find a place to get a COVID-19 vaccine near you. The site even lets you pick which COVID vaccine you want to look for if you have a preference.
The COVID vaccine is covered under Medicare with no out-of-pocket costs. Make sure you bring your Medicare card with you when you get your shot.
Practice Good Hygiene
Some people are calling for an end to “hygiene theater,” a term used to describe the sometimes-elaborate disinfecting routines that have sprung up since the beginning of pandemic. At the same time, basic hygiene is still important. Remember, COVID isn’t the only virus out there.
- Wash your hands, especially before eating or touching your face.
- Watch out for high-touch areas known for hosting germs – gas pumps, doorknobs, menus, etc.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Try to stay home if you’re not feeling well.
Pay Attention to Local Requirements
Some states and cities have been very strict about COVID rules. Others have been much more relaxed. If you’re traveling, you will likely encounter places with more or less stringent rules than what you’re used to. Also, even where masks are no longer required under city or state rules, individual businesses may still require customers to wear masks. According to ABC News, a law enforcement expert has said that businesses are within their rights to do this.
It’s a good idea to do some research before you leave so you’ll know what to expect, and you might want to carry a mask with you just in case.
Check Your Medicare Insurance Coverage
When you travel, your health insurance doesn’t always travel with you.
Original Medicare does not typically provide coverage outside of the United States, although some Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage plans do.
If you’re staying within the United States, you’re more likely to have coverage. However, if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll likely be traveling outside of your plan’s network. This means that you may not have coverage if you seek care. The good news is that emergency care usually is covered even when you’re outside your plan area. If you need care for something less urgent, you may be able to access telehealth benefits while you’re traveling.
Contact your plan with any questions you have about coverage and costs. If you need a Medicare Insurance agent to assist, please contact PTT Financial.