HEALTHCARE & MEDICAL IN THE USA
Medical Insurance - it is highly recommended that you are insured for medical expenses. While youre here, if you have an accident, suffer an illness or injury and you are not insured, you will most likely have to pay a deposit of between $5,000 and $15,000. The daily cost of a hospital bed will be high, and a private room will be around $1000 a day.
Beware, hospitals sometimes pass debts on to debt collectors who may follow you back to your own country and demand payment on behalf of their client.
American pharmacists will not honor foreign prescriptions. Therefore, if you are taking and require regular drugs/medicine, make sure that you take sufficient supplies with you.
Medical facilities - are generally of an extremely high standard. The government closely monitors medically oriented businesses and institutions. Hospitals, clinics, medical schools, and pharmaceutical companies must comply with government standards.
Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel must be licensed, and becoming a medical specialist frequently entails fifteen years or more of rigorous schooling and training. The high level of technology available in the U.S. contributes to quality care, and the average hospital contains millions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art equipment.
Immunizations - in the United States, proof of immunization against diphtheria, measles, poliomyelitis, and rubella is now universally required for entry into school. In addition, the school entry requirements for most states include immunization against tetanus (49 states), pertussis (44 states), mumps (46 states), and hepatitis B (26 states). Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine is not required for school entry but is required in 49 states for attendance in day care facilities.
Those visiting the USA for long periods with school-age children should be aware that school entry requirements include proof of immunisation against diphtheria, measles, poliomyelitis and rubella throughout the USA, and schools in many States also require immunisation against tetanus, pertussis and mumps.
Pharmacies / Chemists / Drug Stores - regular business hours for pharmacies are typically 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sundays with some pharmacies staying open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Many large National chains such as CVS and Rite Aid have their own Pharmacies which operate in the same way as in independant smaller pharmacy but are generally open 24/7.
Pharmacies can be used for all of you prescription and over-the-counter drug needs. Pharmacists cannot distribute prescription medications without authorization from a doctor. Regardless of the pharmacy situation in any country, it is always advisable to bring enough medication to last for a few months. Be sure to carry it with you rather than trusting it to checked luggage.
It is also advisable to carry extra prescription sheets written by your doctor (with the generic names) in case you need refills during you stay and to show at customs as proof of the medications identity and necessity.
In the USA, the incidence of communicable diseases is such that it is unlikely to prove any more dangerous for international travelers than in their own country. There are, of course, health risks, but in general, the precautions required are minimal. You should always check with your own doctor to make sure you are up to date for any vaccinations and precautions required.