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Medical Emergencies

Can the U.S. government help me with a medical emergency overseas?

If an American becomes ill or is seriously injured abroad, a 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.

Why should I be concerned about medical coverage abroad?

  • Many health insurance plans do not provide coverage overseas. Those that provide "customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad may not pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States which can cost $10,000.00 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 United States.
  • Many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service.
  • Uninsured patients may be refused service.
  • Countries with socialized medicine may not provide full services to non-residents.
  • Some countries require tourists to carry accident or travel insurance. Check the Country Specific Information for the countries you plan to visit for details.