Global Patient Services
Before You Travel Abroad
Helping you to prepare for your next big adventure.
Before traveling abroad, secure a travel medical policy with coverage for emergency medical treatment and evacuation. Without coverage, you will be responsible for all catastrophic out-of-pocket expenses.
The majority of domestic health insurance plans (including Medicare) do not cover you when traveling outside of the U.S., except for U.S. territories. Be sure to check with your health plan to find out what coverage they do offer.
Questions to ask your health insurance company
- Do you provide worldwide coverage and assistance in the event of a medical emergency? If so, request a copy of what the travel benefits include and exclude.
- How much does the plan cover for medical care and medical evacuation?
- Who is the contracted travel assistance company, and what is the company's phone number?
- Does the coverage only coordinate air ambulance evacuation to the nearest medical facility that can treat, or will they coordinate air ambulance transport to San Diego?
- What is the process for notifying the travel assistance company and expediting a medical evacuation?
To best prepare for any health events that may occur, review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for preparing to travel abroad, and contact your destination country's U.S. Consulate office for a list of recommended hospitals.
Important items to pack in your carry-on bag
- Medical history and contacts — Carry a summary of your medical history, phone and fax information for your doctor(s), emergency contacts and a list of any medications you are currently taking.
- Prescriptions — Keep your medications in the original pharmacy containers that list your name and prescription information.
- Medical devices — If you have any medical devices implanted, carry your ID card and list the name of the device, serial number, date of implant and your doctor's contact information.
- Copies of important information — Make a copy of your travel itinerary, passport, health insurance ID card, medical history, doctor's contact information, travel insurance policy and U.S. Consulate phone number to leave with a family member or friend.
Bringing you home, bringing you to Sharp.
If you are hospitalized, notify the U.S. Consulate as soon as possible. To request assistance with an evacuation from outside the U.S. to a Sharp hospital, please call 858-499-4102 or send us an email. One of our dedicated liaisons is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are an insured expatriate or an insured or cash-paying foreign national and require non-emergency services, we can also help coordinate care, elective procedures, second opinions and more. For non-emergent questions, please call 858-499-4102, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm, or send us an email.
For more information on preparing for your trip, visit the following resources: