If an American citizen becomes seriously ill or injured abroad, a U.S. consular officer can assist in locating appropriate medical services and informing family or friends. If necessary, a consular officer can also assist in the transfer of funds from the United States. However, payment of hospital and other expenses is the responsibility of the traveler.
Access to quality medical care is limited in the Dutch Caribbean, and facilities do not offer the health and service standards typically expected in the United States. If a U.S. citizen becomes seriously ill or injured abroad, the U.S. Consulate General can provide information on the location of medical services and inform family or friends. Most hotels have medical doctors on call, and appointments often can be made through hotel personnel. Payment of hospital and other expenses is the responsibility of the traveler. General information about the health services provided on each island can be found on our country-Specific Information Pages for Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and the BES Islands.
Travelers with preexisting medical conditions are advised to carry a letter from their attending physician describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of any prescribed medications. Any medications brought overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled.
Insurance for Travelers
Before going abroad, learn which medical services your health insurance will cover overseas. The Social Security Medicare Program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States. If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, remember to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form. Although many health insurance companies will pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation from the Dutch Caribbean islands typically costs between $15,000 and $25,000.
Medicare and Medicaid will generally NOT cover medical expenses incurred outside of the U.S. For more information, please visit the Official Medicare website and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and review the following document.
Medical Evacuations (Medevacs)
Since numerous medical emergencies and procedures require medical evacuation, you should consider obtaining medical evacuation insurance coverage prior to visiting the Dutch Caribbean. Medical evacuation from the Dutch Caribbean islands typically costs between $15,000 and $25,000. The U.S. government does not pay for medical evacuations. Medical evacuations must be arranged privately by contacting the commercial medical evacuation service directly.