If a medical situation should arrive during your time in the United States there are several options for obtaining medical care. It is important to understand the vocabulary associated with American medical care so you can get the right help.
The insurance policy provided to our Work and Travel participants and High School Program participants is an accident and illness policy. It will not cover pre-existing conditions, vaccinations, dental, vision or non-necessary medical treatment.
For detailed information about the insurance, please have your policy/certificate number and visit http://www.esecutive.com/MyInsurance/.
For a quick look at insurance information download this Insurance Guide
Call 9-1-1 and then call United Studies
If you are in need of IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY medical assistance call 911!
You will need to tell the dispatcher where you are and what is the nature of your emergency. If possible, have the address of your location or, if you are in an unfamiliar area, ask a bystander, look for street signs or other visible landmarks that can help identify your location. Help will be sent to you location, typically in 5-30 minutes depending on where you are. 911 will dispatch police, medical personnel or fire fighters to any emergency. Be as specific as you can when describing your situation and follow any instructions given to you by the dispatcher.
Once the emergency is under control contact United Studies so that we can assess the situation and determine if further assistance is required. We can also assist in contacting your international program partner and your family.
Is This An Emergency?
You probably know what constitutes a medical emergency but in case you don’t here are some examples of when it is acceptable to call 911:
- You are involved in or witness a car accident
- You or someone else are attacked, robbed or are under imminent threat of physical harm
- You are experiencing severe medical symptoms and are unable to get yourself to medical care
- You witness a fire, robbery, mugging, murder or other crime
Only Call 911 In An Emergency
It is not funny when people call 911 for a laugh and doing so can get you in big trouble – it is a crime. Many towns will take punitive measures if someone is caught “prank-calling” emergency services. People call 911 all the time for real emergencies, and as each call is answered by a trained dispatcher, every unnecessary call takes help away from someone who actually needs it. If you misuse 911, you’re not just annoying a person, you’re hurting someone else!
You may encounter a non-medical emergency situation which requires outside assistance.
Contact United Studies email link or call 1-800-869-8585 immediately if:
- You lose your passport or visa
- You miss your flight to or from the U.S.
- You are detained at Customs when entering the U.S.
- Your personal belongings are known to be stolen
- You are lost and no one is around to assist you
- You are removed from your living space
- You are arrested – also see US Laws
You may call our toll free number, 1-800-869-8585, at any time of day or night. If you call after hours, you will be directed to call another number for our answering service and they will pass your message along to the staff member on call who will return your call as soon as possible.
A “walk-in clinic” or “urgent care clinic” is a common low-cost alternative for people who need to see a doctor and can’t wait for an appointment or are in an unfamiliar area. They typically have evening and weekend hours. This is a good place to see a doctor if your medical issue it NOT life-threatening. Clinics are typically much less expensive than going to a hospital emergency room which is primarily reserved for life-threatening medical issues.
A doctor is a medical care professional who works in an office, a clinic or at a hospital. You can schedule an appointment in advance to see a doctor in his office.
A hospital is a medical facility capable of handling virtually all medical situations. A doctor might send you to a hospital for additional testing, x-rays or specialized procedures. If you cannot find a clinic or don’t have time to wait to see a doctor, you can go to a hospital for treatment. This option is more expensive than scheduling an appointment with a doctor or going to a clinic and should be used as a last resort for a minor medical situation..
An emergency room (ER) is designed for life-threatening medical care. The ER is part of the local hospital and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a serious accident, are experiencing severe disease related symptoms, severe symptoms of an unknown origin or you cannot get medical treatment from another provider you should go to the nearest hospital emergency room. This is the most expensive medical option and going to an emergency room for something not life-threatening can mean longer waiting times and unnecessary expenses.
911 is the universal phone number for emergency services in the United States. Calling 911 will dispatch police, medical personnel or fire fighters to any emergency. If you have a true emergency, pick up any phone and dial 911. Do not dial 911 for any reason except a legitimate emergency! Dialing 911 as a joke or for any situation that does not require emergency assistance can result in fines and other severe penalties.
An ambulance is a medical transport. Depending on the situation and location of the emergency, an ambulance may come by road or by air (often referred to as Life Flight). If you are in a life-threatening situation or witness a serious accident which requires immediate medical care, call 911 and they will send an ambulance to your location. You must be able to tell the 911 operator where you are and what happened. If you require an ambulance, be advised that it is very expensive.