USA: What to do if medical care is required?
Medical emergencies can occur anywhere. It is important to remember that if you plan to travel away from your home country, it is must to have health insurance. This applies especially to travel to the United States, since the health and medical care situation is completely different from other countries.
After purchasing flight tickets, booking accommodation; it is strongly recommended to purchase travel insurance for the United States. If you decide to leave your country without insurance, you may have to pay thousands of dollars, if the need of medical care arises in the USA.
U.S. health care system is extremely expensive
United States and Canada are the two countries with the highest medical costs in the world. If you travel to the United States without insurance, you will have to pay the costs out of your own pocket. For this reason, it is recommended that once you apply for a tourist visa to the United States, find out about the possibilities of arranging health insurance for your trip.
It is a fact that there are some charity hospitals, but so far most have been ruined, while others have endless waiting lists for non-emergency visits. That means you can’t take it for granted that a doctor will see you in the United States without paying the corresponding costs.
Also, keep in mind that, with very few exceptions, most US health systems are private. When you buy travel insurance to travel abroad, you receive private insurance. Going to an emergency is not free.
In the event that you suffer a serious accident and are admitted to the emergency department, the hospital will charge you for all treatment costs down to the smallest detail. Keep in mind that giving a few simple stitches and a couple of antibiotics can cost over a hundred dollars.
If you are a foreigner who has been admitted to the emergency room of a private hospital, you will be transferred to a charity hospital as soon as the hospital staff see that they do not have insurance to cover their expenses.
Your country’s health card is not valid in the U.S.
Many first-time travelers to the United States have doubt, whether their national insurance covers any medical expenses in the United States. Remember that your country’s health care policy has nothing to do with U.S. regulations.
All national health cards are valid only in the territory of the country in which they are issued. That means your health card will not be valid when you travel to the United States.
Dial 911 for Emergency
911 is the American emergency number. Write down this number, remember it, and mark it in case of an emergency. However, don’t forget that calling an ambulance is also a cost that will be charged to you or your insurance company.
If you need medical assistance and do not have health insurance, the bill arrives at your home (in your country).
This is the worst-case scenario: you’ll be charged when you’re home. However, this will be the case if you need medical attention and do not have the financial means to cover the cost of treatment.
If you cannot pay in advance or make any payments while you are in the United States, your personal details will be retained and the invoice will be sent to your home country. The payment plan can be discussed in detail while you are still at the medical facility.
Remember that it is extremely important to take care of those bills when you return home. Avoiding payments on purpose will create difficulties for you during the next trip to the U.S.