Hospital Visits While on Overseas Vacation?

Updated on August 07, 2013
A.G. asks from Houston, TX
7 answers

Have you ever had to go to the hospital while on an overseas vacation? Any problems with payment there or bills/insurance issues when you came home?

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So What Happened?

Thanks ya'll. I did check with my insurance and they said they'll cover costs the same as in the States. For example, I pay $100 for emergency room visits and bill me until I meet my deductible. They said they'll treat any worldwide visits the same way, however, I'm fully aware international medical systems are different than American medical systems, so I wanted to hear some other hospital experiences.

More Answers



answers from New York on

We used a health clinic and an emergency room while in Australia. We had to pay for the services while there. We sought reimbursement from our US health insurance and from our travel health insurance.



answers from Boca Raton on

yes, well, with my kids. the country we were in does not accept health insurances from the US, but if was so cheap i didn't bother submit anything when we came back. i think i paid for visit plus meds about 20 bucks.



answers from Houston on

I asked about that in May before we went to London. My insurance carrier said that I would have to pay and then submit when I return to the United States.

Call your carrier and ask them.



answers from Honolulu on

Not a hospital, but had to see a Doctor while in Europe.
For my Asthma which was flaring up and I was in bad shape.
Anyway, it was fine and my medical care and medicine while there, was all covered once I got home. Sure I paid upfront when I was there. When I came home, I just submitted the paperwork for it. I already had kept all my receipts while I was there. And it was perfectly fine. I got reimbursed for everything.


answers from Austin on

Depends on what country you are in. If they have Universal health coverage, you will not pay anything if it is a small injury.. .

I have had friends and family who have had to go for some minor things and they just filled out forms. For the ones that had to stay over.. They had to charge it and get reimbursed by their carriers when they go back.. Just call and ask your insurance company.. Let them know what countries you will be visiting.



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, I went to the ER via ambulance while on vacation in New Zealand. They wouldn't take payment while I was there, even though I tried to pay. Later, the hospital sent a nasty letter to my home in the U.S. saying that I needed to pay my bill, and that when irresponsible Americans like me didn't pay their bills, their health care system suffered. This was the first time I had any correspondence from them. And as I recall, the actual bill wasn't even included with the letter. Apparently, they had tried sending the bill to the home of the person I had been staying with, even though I never gave them that address. They would only take payment in the form of a check in New Zealand dollars. I just ignored the letter. I did pay for the ambulance because they were willing to take credit card payments. My health insurance reimbursed me.

My father suffered a catastrophic stroke while in Barcelona. He was in intensive care at the hospital for about 90 days before we could life-flight him back home. None of the charges were covered under Medicare, but the total bill came out to only $25k! His doctor in the U.S. said that would only pay for one day in the ICU in the U.S. We paid the bill with our father's money.

Check with your insurance and make sure you are covered for expenses incurred overseas. It can be difficult dealing with the paperwork, and if the health care providers won't take credit cards, you might have to take some extra steps to convert to foreign currency. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

no, but on a group trip a gal had to go get contacts and her prescription was out of date, so she had to get an exam. She paid out of pocket and submitted to her insurance state side for reimbursement. Pretty comparable. If you are planning a trip, call your insurance company and find out the parameters and coverage. If it is a serious concern, consider taking out a special policy just for your vaca - I am sure they exist.

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