Before you leave to travel abroad, you should ask your insurance company if your policy applies while you are outside of the country.  Make sure that you know if your policy covers emergencies.  You may want to purchase a separate policy during your trip, because doctors in many places refuse to offer service unless they are paid in cash.  Also, uninsured patients may be refused service as well.  It will be on you, the traveler, to pay the expenses at the hospital.  Some countries may require you to carry traveler’s or accident insurance.  

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In times of emergency, a U.S. consular officer can assist you in locating medical services as well as contacting friends and family or transferring funds. The embassy or consulate abroad will notify the Office of Citizen Services, which will notify family members in the U.S. If necessary, the State Department can also assist in returning the injured traveler home via commercial transport with appropriate medical services. Paying for these services still falls on the traveler.  The embassy provides a list of physicians and health facilities in the country you are visiting.  

In the case of death, the Bureau of Consular Affairs will locate the next of kin.  They will provide guidance to family members on how to locate the remains of the deceased.  The consular officers assume possession of all apparel, jewelry, convertible assets, and personal papers of the deceased person if they have no connections in the U.S.

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Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day.