If you as an American citizen become ill or are injured when abroad, US consular officials can assist in certain ways. But ultimately you are responsible for medical and other costs occurred abroad, which is why it’s important to have comprehensive travel insurance. Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance are essentials to help cope in unexpected situations.

If you become seriously ill abroad the US Consulate can help in finding appropriate medical care and inform relatives and friends at home if you are unable to do so. A consular officer can also help arrange a transfer of money from the United States to help pay for your care abroad.

However, this money must come from your funds, or your family’s funds. This is why it is important to have full medical insurance for travel abroad. The US government cannot and will not pay for your medical care abroad.

Don’t rely on your regular health insurance policy covering you overseas. Check to see what, if any, foreign benefits it supplies. And remember that the vast majority of healthcare plans will not cover an expensive medical evacuation back to the United States.