Dan and Julia had planned the vacation of their dreams. They had always been captivated by Central Europe. They wanted to take in the romance of Budapest, and were looking forward to touring Prague. But first, they would visit Vienna, Austria.
They settled into their hotel and talked over the next day's agenda. They hoped to get an early start. Dan woke up around 8 a.m. the next morning and checked his phone, as he usually did. But then something unusual happened. His body began to convulse. Julia woke up to see her husband having a seizure.
She called an ambulance. Dan was admitted to the local hospital where he learned he had a brain tumor. The Austrian doctors said he needed surgery as soon as possible.
But the health system works differently outside the U.S. Julia was expected to pay cash for the services Dan needed. And Julia wasn't allowed in her husband's hospital room, as it was restricted to men only.
So Julia called Highmark.
Highmark and doctors at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) sprang to action. They worked together to establish a care plan for Dan. And because of Dan's unique situation, Highmark flew them home.
Dan is Living Proof that Highmark is always there for you. Even 4,468 miles from home.
OPEN OUTSIDE OF AN AIRPORT WHERE WE SEE A RESCUE JET COMING TO A STOP.
SUPER: Pittsburgh International Airport 4:27pm
CUT TO SEE DAN ON A STRETCHER AS THE MEDICS TRANSFER HIM FROM THE PLANE.
SUPER: Dan started having seizures while on vacation in Austria.
CUT TO CLOSE-UP ON MEDICS UNIFORM AND BADGE.
SUPER: He had a brain tumor and treatment couldn’t wait.
CUT TO INTERIOR OF HOSPITAL ROOM WHERE WE SEE DAN LYING IN BED. HIS MOM, DAD, AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS ENTER THE ROOM. HIS MOTHER HUGS HIM.
SUPER: So Highmark chartered a plane to pick him up and get him home fast.
SUPER: Because great coverage should go the extra mile. Or 4,468 miles to be exact.
VO: Choose coverage that goes across the country
TRANSITION TO END FRAME.
VO: and around the world. Choose Highmark. Blue Cross. Blue Shield.
LOGO: HIGHMARK® BLUE CROSS® BLUE SHIELD®
DISC: Extreme situation. Coverage for international care is limited to emergency services in some benefit plans. Check you member materials for details. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Having coverage that gives you access to care away from home means extra peace of mind.
For travel within the U.S., most Highmark health plan members* have in-network access to the BlueCard® network. It's the nation's largest network of doctors and hospitals. Your member ID is recognized and accepted at 96% of hospitals and 93% of doctors in all 50 states.
When you travel internationally, your level of coverage depends on your specific plan. But emergency care is always covered whether at home or abroad. Dan's plan allowed him to get back to Pittsburgh for his care, so he and his wife could have family and friends around for support. **
You never know when you are going to have a health emergency. At age 34, Dan thought he was healthy. He was shocked to hear he had a brain tumor. And he and Julia felt a sense of panic when the Austrian doctors pushed for immediate surgery.
Highmark brought in experts to begin working on Dan's case immediately. AGH neurologist James Valeriano, MD, and neurosurgeons Khaled Aziz, MD, and Alexander Yu, MD, consulted with the doctors at the Austrian hospital before Dan's discharge. So by the time he was back in Pittsburgh, they were ready to take action.
Before rushing into surgery, they evaluated Dan's condition through a series of tests. The results helped them set a date for the operation. It was nearly a month after the date of his seizure in Vienna. Dr. Aziz and Dr. Yu assured Dan he could go on with his usual routine until then. And Dan and Julia's feelings of panic turned into optimism.
Having a health plan that provides access to top-quality neurology care in Pittsburgh is a major plus for Julia. "It makes me appreciate where we live so much more," she said.
Dan was thankful Highmark was able to arrange for an air ambulance to bring him back to Pittsburgh.
Most of all, Julia appreciates that Dan's surgery went well. His doctors feel confident they removed the entire tumor. And they don't think it was cancerous.
She's also thankful Dan's coverage worked so well with the AHN system. "Highmark helped us find the right doctors. If I would have had to do it myself, it would have added another level of stress."
*Applicable for most employer and Medicare Advantage plans. Check your member materials for details. A provider's participation status and the level of benefit available for a provider's services may vary by benefit plan design.
**Extreme situation. Coverage for international care is limited to emergency services in some benefit plans. Check your member materials for details.