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For Members

The Away From Home Care® (previously called Guest Membership) Program

For HMO members living away from home more than 90 days

We've Got You Covered!

Kids going to college? Dependents living in another city? Extended out-of-town business? Away From Home Care at an affiliated BlueCross BlueShield HMO may be the right choice for you. Through this arrangement, you or your family member can select a primary care physician (PCP) in the other location and receive health care coverage through a nearby HMO. This program is especially valuable if you require regular medical care.

As a participant, you will receive benefits and coverage with the ease of the other plan's member card--without the hassle of filing claim forms. There is no additional charge to your premium for this program.

Of course, as members of our HMO plans, you and your family are always covered for the treatment of emergency medical conditions no matter where you are. Care for non-emergency medical conditions must be approved in advance by your PCP and your plan.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for Away From Home Care at another HMO, eligible members must:

  1. Be a current member of our HMO plan who receives coverage through an employer or group.
  2. Live outside our service area for at least 90 consecutive days (this requirement does not apply to families with dependent children living in another area).
  3. Reside in an area that has an affiliated HMO. Away From Home Care does not offer coverage in all counties or states. Also, Away From Home Care does not offer coverage outside the United States.

Please note that although there are more than 200 affiliated HMOs nationwide, not all communities offer this program. To receive more information on the Away From Home Care option and to confirm an affiliated HMO's participation, please go to the "Contact Us" page for complete contact information.

To Apply

Please send completed Away From Home Care applications to:

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
PO Box 22999
Rochester NY, 14692

Terms to know

  • Home Plan - Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is your Home Plan.

  • Host Plan - The Host Plan is the participating HMO that supplies benefits to traveling subscribers and/or active dependents of other HMOs.

Answers to Questions about the Away From Home Care Program

  • Make sure a PCP has been listed with your Host plan.
  • Know and follow the benefits of your Host plan.
  • Use your Host card for services, except for prescriptions.
  • Follow up with the Host plan if you do not receive an information packet from that plan within 30 days of receiving our confirmation letter.

If you have prescription drug coverage under your health plan, you can use our FLRx prescription drug program while in the Host servicing area. Our FLRx pharmacy network includes over 50,000 participating pharmacies nationwide. View our online directory to find a participating pharmacy in the area, or call our Drug Hotline at 1-800-724-5033.

If the Host plan does not automatically assign a Primary Care Physician (PCP) to coordinate your care, you must choose a PCP to activate your Away From Home Care coverage. As a Guest Member, you will be required to follow the benefit program and guidelines of the Host HMO while in the Host servicing area.

If you intend to remain enrolled in the Away From Home Care / Guest Membership Program, you will need to contact Customer Service two months prior to the termination date, in order to renew your membership.

Subscribers and Long Term Travelers (policyholders who are traveling away from the Home HMO for at least 90 days) are limited to 180 days (6 months) for Away From Home Care and may reapply after a three-month break. Subscribers and Long Term Travelers are limited to two memberships a year.

Spouses and dependents, unless Long Term Travelers, are not restricted to a time limit for Away From Home Care but must renew yearly.

You must maintain active coverage under the Home HMO Plan to be eligible for Away From Home Care. Be careful not to let your coverage lapse. Any lapse in coverage could result in the termination of your Away From Home Care.

You can call us at: 1-800-447-6269.