Before you go

As you prepare for your trip, here is a health and insurance checklist to get you started. This list will help if you find yourself in need of medical services while away from home:

  • Find out about the medical services your health insurance will and will not cover while you are in a different country.
  • Make sure to pack your medical insurance policy identity cards along with your identification.
  • To facilitate identification in case of an accident, complete the information page on the inside of your passport providing the name, address, and telephone number of someone to be contacted in case of an emergency.
  • If you are going abroad with any pre-existing medical problems, carry a letter from your physician that describes the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs.
  • Any medications being carried abroad should be left in original containers with clear labels.
  • Pack enough medication to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.
  • Make sure you have the contact information for the nearest embassy or consulate of where you are going. Consular duty personnel are available for emergency assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Check with the foreign embassy of the country you are visiting to make sure any required medications are not considered illegal narcotics.
  • Ask your pharmacy or physician for the generic equivalent name of your prescriptions in case you need to purchase additional medication abroad.
  • Some countries require foreign visitors to have immunization or vaccines before entering. Before you travel, check the latest entry requirements with the foreign embassy of the country to be visited; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

Remember, prepare now to avoid problems later.