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US Health Care System: What’s Good To Know

The United States of America is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. Whether you are traveling for business or tourism, millions of visitors come to the United States each year for stays ranging from one week to a few months. If we can say with certainty that the visitor will find a welcoming country upon arrival, it is necessary that he inquire about certain aspects of everyday life in the United States which may be very different from his country of origin, origin.

One of them is certainly the national health system. This fact is recognized as one of the best in the world, with absolute points of medical excellence. But unlike many countries in the rest of the world, the burden of medical care costs falls on the citizen / patient. In other words, the majority of US citizens take out medical insurance to protect themselves in case of medical treatment. If the income is below the poverty line, the federal government intervenes to help the citizen to subscribe to this insurance policy.

Considering the above, it is clear that foreign visitors are not covered by the US national health system. The need for medical care while you are in the United States can result in significant costs. However, it is possible to receive medical care in a public hospital without medical insurance, the costs of which are entirely borne by the patient.

What to do in case of a medical emergency?

In general, if you need medical attention, you have several options, depending on the severity of the problem. If the problem is in fact not very urgent, it is best to call the hospital and ask for a specific doctor’s recommendation for your problem. A visit to a doctor is less costly than an emergency room.

The second option is to contact private health centers, which are cheaper than hospitals. However, it is important to remember that these tend to perform a series of tests on the patient that can increase the final cost. Even in cases of minor medical necessity. Always pay attention to the proposed exams, not all are necessary for you in specific circumstances, use your common sense.

In an emergency, the best thing is surely that you contact the nearest hospital and see a doctor in the emergency room.

It is advisable to be covered by health insurance

As noted above, the United States has a health care system where the patient pays for medical care. US citizens protect themselves with medical insurance, why not do it yourself as a visitor?

Insurance companies generally exist to protect and save. If you suffer from an ankle sprain, or are suffering from dysentery abroad, insurance can help you and not leave you alone. Especially when your medical bill comes in, you’ll be glad you’re not alone. It is therefore very useful to consider the most appropriate coverage for your trip. In addition to medical coverage, many insurance also includes theft or loss of baggage, delays and cancellations of flights, repatriation for reasons of force majeure, etc.

How to evaluate and choose insurance?

Some terms and conditions of the contract will guide you through the assessment and selection of the most appropriate coverage for you. We suggest you consider:

  • The maximum expenditure covered by an insurance. It is recommended that this threshold be higher than € 500 000.
  • If the medical expenses are considerable, it is recommended that the coverage provide for the payment of these expenses directly to the hospital. We do not recommend the refund option after you have paid.
  • Pay attention to the deductible. The lower part is the payment that will be returned to you in the event of an accident.
  • We suggest that you always choose to cover the costs of repatriation in the event of an emergency (natural disasters, unexpected wars, terrorist attacks, etc.)
  • Choose coverage including ambulance transportation.
  • Make sure the emergency phone number is always active and reliable.
  • Check and evaluate optional coverage such as loss or theft luggage, insurance in case you rent a car, etc.

Finally, if your trip involves high-risk excursions or sports activities (activities in the snow, mountain hikes, parachute, rafting, etc.), make sure that you are covered even in these cases and that transportation to the airport, Hospital (some cases require helicopter transport), is included in coverage.

In addition, you can check:

  • Does the phone number of Medicare say doctors available help you?
  • That you will be assisted in the event that your injury temporarily renders you not autonomous?
  • If you spend a long stay in the hospital and your family wishes to visit you, their travel expenses will be taken care of.

In general, we strongly recommend that you carefully read the terms and conditions of the contract you wish to subscribe to.

What if I decide to pack my luggage?

In this case, read carefully what, where, when and how. If your luggage is stolen in a car, are you covered? Are electronic (iPad, phones, portable speakers, etc.) insured? If so, are they even if your phone would fall off the Grand Canyon? For any doubt, ask the insurance company. According to the law, it is necessary to explain the coverage.

What will be the cost of the insured trip?

It is important to remember that insurance covers high costs, amounting in some cases to hundreds of thousands of euros. If a European traveler suffers a serious accident in Los Angeles, the hospital bill can be quite high, and the California state sues the patient until he pays. Same for a hiker in the Colorado Mountains who would need emergency response and should be transported by helicopter to the nearest hospital.

To choose the most appropriate coverage at the rate that suits you best, you can customize your coverage. In other words, if you are traveling with a backpack and personal belongings of little value, why would you want to insure the luggage?

Or why opt for auto insurance if you are not going to rent a car?

Remember that the higher price does not necessarily match the best insurance, or does not cover your needs better. Studying the coverage conditions and its personalization possibilities can help you adapt the best protection for your trip. And you will get a lower price than a standard insurance.

As a general rule, we can certainly say that the final cost of the insurance contract is linked to the country of origin, the age of the insured, the destination and the length of stay. Some insurance for specific geographical areas of the world have a much higher cost than others.

To choose the most appropriate coverage at the rate that suits you best, you can customize your coverage. In other words, if you are traveling with a backpack and personal belongings of little value, why would you want to insure the luggage?

Or why opt for auto insurance if you are not going to rent a car?

Remember that the higher price does not necessarily match the best insurance, or does not cover your needs better. Studying the coverage conditions and its personalization possibilities can help you adapt the best protection for your trip. And you will get a lower price than a standard insurance.

As a general rule, we can certainly say that the final cost of the insurance contract is linked to the country of origin, the age of the insured, the destination and the length of stay. Some insurance for specific geographical areas of the world have a much higher cost than others.

More tips on choosing your insurance

To ensure that your choice of insurance is as informed and appropriate as possible, we invite you to consider the following aspects of the insurance contract:

If you rent a motor vehicle or a car

Car rental companies usually require you to purchase insurance when you take possession of the vehicle. Some credit card companies offer this service for free to their customers (American Express © for example).

If you want to reduce the cost of compulsory insurance for the tenant, you may want to consider purchasing insurance for the use of motor vehicles. Always inquire about the costs of it and compare it with the conditions offered by the car hire, you have to make the most appropriate choice for you.

Damage to persons or property

In the United States, the sense of personal responsibility is very widespread, even in financial terms. And since the United States is also the nation that stands out in the world for the greatest number of lawsuits for individuals and / or compensation companies, you may want a cover that protects your finances from any damage Caused to persons or property.

Temporary delays, delays or impediments

The journey to your final destination can sometimes be delayed by unpredictable events. The most common is a strike. Others less frequent but more serious can be natural disasters, terrorist attacks or even war. Some insurance companies cover this kind of prevention up to € 250 per day.

Trip Cancellation

In the unlikely event that your trip is canceled at the last minute due to force majeure, you should consider covering the associated costs (flight, cruise, hotel, etc.). The recommended coverage (you can negotiate) can reach 100% of the costs, in addition to an indemnity for emotional damage. Remember that the higher the amount of compensation, the more expensive the premium will be.

Bankruptcy of the Airlines or any other service provider

To protect themselves from a major change or closure of one or more airlines and / or other service providers, insurance companies have added this coverage. Usually, good insurance offers coverage of € 10,000 or more.