Tips for International Visitors
Traveling to the U.S. for Planned Medical Care
As the premier medical provider in Central Florida, Orlando Health provides care to thousands of international patients each year. To ensure you have a smooth entry into the United States in advance of treatment, it is recommended to thoroughly research requirements before you arrive as visitors seeking care may require a visitor visa or other documentation. For further information on your particular entry requirements we recommend you contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to your home.
Unplanned Medical Care or Emergencies When Visiting the U.S.
Unfortunately, accidents or unplanned visits to the emergency room or urgent care clinic may occur while you are visiting and can be a stressful situation. Visitors to the U.S. may find healthcare costs and processes to be different from their home country or other countries they have visited. Here are some helpful tips when visiting the U.S. should you need to seek emergent or urgent care:
- Call 911 for Emergencies: In case of a serious medical emergency, call 911 and emergency services will send an ambulance to your location.
- Identification and Documentation: Bring your passport, travel visa, and a copy of your health insurance policy or travel insurance policy if you have one. This will help hospital staff verify your identity and insurance coverage. To ensure they’re always accessible, leave copies with someone back home and consider saving them to the cloud file.
- Know Your Allergies and Medications: Make a list of any allergies you have and the medications you are taking, along with the dosage and directions. Having this information readily available can be critical, especially in the case of emergencies.
- With medical providers: It is important when patients are receiving care they are able to communicate comfortably and effectively with physicians and the care team. All of our patients have the right to obtain an interpreter at no cost. Visit our Language Resources page to learn more about medical interpreters and other services.
- With loved ones: Your overseas phone may not work in the United States, so we recommend establishing multiple ways to contact family or friends. It is also important to note the international calling codes for the countries you may be calling.
- Cost Awareness: Even with insurance, you may be responsible for co-pays or deductibles. Ask about potential costs before any procedures.
- Contact Your Embassy or Consulate: In more serious cases, your Embassy or Consulate may be able to provide additional support and information.
When researching travel insurance, make sure you look for travel insurance that covers medical emergencies in the U.S. To ensure you’re covered for any eventuality, it’s recommended that you obtain coverage for any pre-existing conditions prior to travel.
Cultural and Interpreter Services
Orlando is a very diverse city and Orlando Health cares for thousands of visitors each year from around the world. To serve all cultures and meet the language needs of our patients and guests, we offer Cultural and Interpreter services. Click here to learn more.
Traveling to the U.S. with Medication
It is important to verify the medication you are traveling with isn’t a prohibited item in the U.S. What’s acceptable in your home country may not be legal in the United States, including some medications and herbal remedies. For further information, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Overstaying Your Visa/Visa Extensions
Staying past the limit of your visa or needing to stay in the U.S. beyond your allotted time can be complex issues. Any amendments to the terms of your current entry to the United States should be addressed through an immigration attorney. Orlando Health recommends finding a lawyer in good standing through the Florida Bar Association. If finances are an issue, they can provide help locating a pro-bono attorney, who may be able to provide services for free or at a lower cost.
Orlando Health makes every effort to provide you with the care and support you need, but there are some areas we may not be able to assist with. For additional guidance, we recommend contacting your country’s Embassy or Consulate based in the United States. Their Consular Section may be able to provide help on a variety of matters.
Basic preparations for wherever you travel can help make the process smoother should you need to seek medical care.
Where Should You Go for Care?
When visiting Central Florida, you will have access to high quality, health-related options and medical services for when accidents happen or a sickness occurs.