You’ll Need Shots
Traveling around the world requires a different level of health than just staying within the western countries. After mentioning my trip to my doc, she advised on which shots my family and I will need for our adventure. They include Hepatitis A, updated tetanus, and Typhoid. I am not a doctor, and I encourage you to talk to yours! These are the travel shots for RTW trip that I’ll need, as told to me by my doc.
I thought I would look up Typhoid and its symptoms. Basically, its a really bad case of the flu, leading to death by salmonella poisoning. I’ll spare you pictures. Need less to say, the last thing I want on the plane is severe diarrhea followed by fever and delirium. So, we’ll be getting vaccinated for Typhoid.
Hepatitis A and Tetanus
Getting the Hepatitis A and tetanus shots is easily done via a nurse visit to my doctor’s office, and insurance covers these shots. The hardest part of this event is the pain from the tetanus shot. They’ve advised me to swallow some ibuprofen before the appointment.
But the Typhoid vaccination, which is administered orally, is a much more complicated process. Finding an entity that administers the vaccination and is covered by in-network insurance has become my latest challenge. In order to administer this vaccine, the provider must have special environments to keep the drug and special licensing to administer. Therefore, my provider doesn’t carry it.
Traveler’s Shot Industry
But, there is an entire industry of providers devoted to the international traveler’s need for vaccines. The largest outfit appears to be www.passporthealth.com. Upon calling, they advised it would cost about $150 for the Typhoid vaccine, and if I would like, $200 for the HepA and $75 for the tetanus. The grand total of $425 times three could be nicely charged to a credit card, and if my insurance company were willing, could be reimbursed to me via an out-of-network claim.
I don’t want to tie up $1300 on my credit card in hopes that I correctly fill out a claim and wait for my insurance to pay. I think I would have better odds playing the lottery. So I called around and found an in-network pharmacy that will release the vaccine to me with s script. In addition, they’ll bill my insurance for me. So thank you goes out to the University of Colorado Health pharmacy, but big boos and hisses go out to Blue Cross for making a simple process be insanely red-taped.
The bottom line: we will get our HepA and tetanus in the nurse’s office, and we’ll take our Typhoid vaccines orally via our doctor’s script. Tomorrow’s my appointment; don’t call me. I won’t be able to lift the phone!
P.S. I also found out that my insurance does cover 100% of my travel shots for RTW trip. It took several calls and reading some fine print in my benefit statement, but I did find Blue Cross to agree to cover 100% for all three of us! It pays to call twice!