If an American citizen becomes seriously ill or injured abroad, a U. S. consular officer can assist in locating appropriate medical services and informing family or friends. If necessary, a consular officer can also assist in the transfer of funds from the United States. However, payment of hospital and other expenses is the responsibility of the traveler.
Before going abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas. If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, REMEMBER to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form. Although many health insurance companies will pay "customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition.
The Social Security Medicare program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the U.S.A.
Senior citizens may wish to contact the American Association of Retired Persons for information about foreign medical care coverage with Medicare supplement plans.
To facilitate identification in case of an accident, complete the information page on the inside of your passport providing the name, address and telephone number of someone to be contacted in an emergency.
A traveler going abroad with any preexisting medical problems should carry a letter from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs. Any medications being carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled. Travelers should check with the foreign embassy of the country they are visiting to make sure any required medications are not considered to be illegal narcotics.
A listing of addresses and telephone numbers of U.S. embassies and consulates abroad is contained in Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts. This publication may be obtained through the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Also available from the Government Printing Office is Health Information for International Travel by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This contains a global rundown of disease and immunization advice and other health guidance, including risks in particular countries. For additional health information, the CDC maintains the international travelers hotline at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), an automated faxback service at 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299) and a home page on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov.
For detailed information on physicians abroad, the authoritative reference is The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists published for the American Board of Medical Specialists and its certifying member boards. This publication should be available in your local library. U.S. embassies and consulates abroad maintain lists of hospitals and physicians. Major credit card companies also can provide the names of local doctors and hospitals abroad.
Some countries require foreign visitors to have inoculations or medical tests before entering. Before traveling, check the latest entry requirements with the foreign embassy of the country to be visited.
Several private organizations will provide medical information and insurance for overseas travelers. Most charge a fee for this service. The following is provided FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and in no way constitutes an endorsement, expressed or implied, by the Department of State.
Acadian Ambulance & Air Med Service, Inc.
800-259-1111; 318-267-1111; 504-267-1111
Advanced Air Ambulance
AAA -- Air Ambulance America
Air Ambulance Care Flight International, Inc.
800-282-6878; 1-727-530-7972 (international)
Air Ambulance Network
Air Ambulance Professionals
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Air Medic -- Air Ambulance of America
Van Nuys, CA
800-631-6565; 518-993-4153; 407-384-6100
Air Star International
American Care, Inc.
San Diego, CA
American Jet Air Medical
Critical Air Medicine
San Diego, CA
Critical Care Medflight
Inflight Medical Services International Inc.
Intensive Air Ambulance
International SOS Assistance
Also provides travel insurance services.
Med Escort International Inc.
Medex Assistance Corporation
800-537-2029; 410-453-6300 (call collect)
Medjet International, Inc.
Medway Air Ambulance
Mercy Medical Airlift
(Service area: Caribbean and part of Canada only. If necessary, will meet commercial incoming patients at JFK, Miami and other airports.)
National Air Ambulance
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Provides a range of travel medicine services.
Travel Care International, Inc.
Eagle River, WI
Travelers Emergency Network
U.S. Phone: 800-468-5232
Service worldwide, also provides travel insurance services
Austrian Air Ambulance
Helsinki International Airport
Johannesburg, South Africa
German Air Rescue (DRF)
358-0-822-766; 358-0-6996 (after hours)
Medical Rescue International
Auckland Park, South Africa
Tyrol Air Ambulance
Travel Insurance Companies
Access America, Inc.
American International Group, Inc.
New York, NY
International Health Insurance
Seabury & Smith
Health Care Global
(also known as Medhelp or Wallach & Company or Healthcare Abroad)
800-237-6615; 540-687-3166; 540-281-9500
Highway to Health
(Also provides destination-based travel health information for cities worldwide.)
International Medical Group (IMG)
MultiNational Underwriters, Inc.
Mutual of Omaha
Petersen International Underwriters, Inc.
Stevens Point, WI
Travel Insured International
E. Hartford, CT
Travel Insurance Services
Walnut Creek, CA
Unicard Travel Association
Overland Park, KS
Universal Service and Assistance
Executive Medical Services
Health Quest Travel Inc.