Your Health Abroad


Get Help with a Medical Emergency Abroad

If you or a U.S. citizen loved one become seriously ill or injured abroad, we can:

  • Help locate appropriate medical services.
  • Inform your family or friends, with your permission.
  • Help transfer funds to the U.S. citizen overseas.

We do not pay medical bills. The patient is responsible for payment of hospital and other expenses.

You can find lists of doctors and hospitals in the country you are visiting on the U.S. embassy or consulate websites


Check Your Health Insurance – Are You Covered Abroad?

Before you go 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 insurance and a claim form. 

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Medical evacuation can be extremely expensive, costing more than $50,000 depending on your location and medical condition. Although some health insurance companies pay "customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad, very few pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States. For more information, visit our website for Insurance Providers for Overseas Coverage


What about Medicare?

In general, Medicare does not cover medical care you receive while traveling outside the United States. In rare cases, Medicare may pay for inpatient hospital, doctor, ambulance services, or dialysis care you receive in a foreign country. Visit for more information. 

Senior citizens may wish to contact Medicare, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), or a travel agent for information about foreign medical coverage with private Medicare supplement plans. 


Questions about Insurance

Travel Insurance vs. Travel Medical Insurance – There is a Difference

  • Travel Insurance insures your financial investment in your trip. Typically, it covers such things as the cost of lost baggage and canceled flights. Travel Insurance generally does not cover medical expenses.
  • Travel Medical Insurance covers costs of medical attention you may need while abroad.

Find a Doctor or Hospital Abroad

For an authoritative reference on physicians abroad, consult the American Board of Medical Specialists

You can find lists of doctors and hospitals in the country you are visiting on the U.S. embassy and consulate websites, in the “U.S. Citizens Services” tab.


Travel Smartly with Prescription Medications

  • Bring an ample supply of medication to cover you for your trip, and if possible, a few extra days in case there are delays.
  • Carry a letter from the attending physician that describes your medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs.
  • Keep medications in their original, labeled containers.
  • Check with the foreign embassy of the country you are visiting or transiting to make sure your medications are permitted in that country. Some countries require an import license or permit to travel with certain medications.

Medical Tourism Abroad

Between 150,000 and 320,000 U.S. citizens travel abroad for medical care each year. Medical tourism includes cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and other surgery procedures. 

If you are a U.S. citizen considering travel abroad for medical care, you should:


Inform Yourself About Vaccinations

Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries

Some countries require foreign visitors to carry an International Certificate of Vaccination, also known as a Yellow Card, or other proof that they have had certain inoculations or medical tests before entering or transiting the country. Before you travel, check the country information and contact the foreign embassy of your destination or transit country for current entry requirements.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide recommendations for vaccinations, malaria prevention, and other travel health precautions for travel abroad.


Recommend Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention for Travel to Some Countries

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide recommendations for vaccinations, malaria prevention and other travel health precautions for travel abroad.


Options During a Pandemic

Planning and Preparing for a Pandemic

For more information about pandemics, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a pandemic, virus control measures could affect your travel :

  • Travel restrictions may prevent U.S. citizens from traveling internationally.
  • Foreign governments may close borders suddenly or with little advance warning.
  • Commercial air, land, and sea carriers could suspend some or all transportation services.
  • Some countries may quarantine people who appear sick or test positive with the virus.

These developments could indefinitely delay your travel to or from the United States, or between other countries and regions.

Last Updated: November 22, 2022