{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Has anyone here had to take their visiting parents to an ER in the US without insurance? What was the process like? How did you deal with billing?", "post_id": "60ee61e462269c002f0373bf", "reply_count": 18, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5abc4bc7cf9bd00013107acd", "bowl_name": "Global immigration " }

Has anyone here had to take their visiting parents to an ER in the US without insurance? What was the process like? How did you deal with billing?

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If they’re not American make and they don’t live here, make sure to not give them their full names or addresses. God please don’t give them all their info and almost definitely don’t give yours if you do live here. Once they go back to their countries they don’t need to pay. There’s no way to collect :)

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FIL? I read that as Father in Law but it must mean something else... Right??

Do not go to the ER if you don’t have insurance, they’ll charge you just for stepping into the ER, on top of other fees. Go the Urgent Care instead. Also try to pay whatever you can and tell billing that’s all you can pay ( if you pay a good chunk of it, they’ll dismiss the rest) AVOID THE ER!! they don’t even treat you like en emergency, you just sit there for hours ( because they don’t think you’re urgent). Spoken from experience.

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This is my worst nightmare. Best of luck to you. When I was a child, my parents took us to a family vacation to the US. On that trip, my sister got so sick that they had to take her to the ER. Doctors found she had a twisted dead ovary that had to be removed immediately otherwise she could die. Hospital scheduled surgery for the next day, even though my parents had no insurance (or means to pay for that matter). After successful recovery, they discharged her, and my dad talked to their billing department. They put him on a payment plan ( to pay THOUSANDS and thousands of dollars over decades). My family went back to our home country where the purchasing power is a very small fraction of that of the US. My dad was not able to honor the payments. I assume the hospital tried to reach him , but there really isn’t much they can do once you are abroad. In the end, my sister got a “free” surgery. I always wondered if my dad’s name was ever put on some sort of black list with the US embassy or USCIS. He never tried to renter the US after that.

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Just let them buy international travel insurance and they are all set. I don’t understand why people travel without it.

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What are the insurance options for parents that are 55+? I’ve heard the same about ore-existing conditions - I tried to call the private insurance providers (Aetna, UHC, BCBS, etc) to see if they would offer regular insurance even if it’s at a higher cost, but they don’t do that. I’ve been confused on how to go about providing insurance coverage. Would appreciate any insights here!

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I had a friend whose mom was taken to ER without traveler insurance and was finally diagnosed as brain cancer. She did the surgery to remove the tumor in the US. I think the Bill came out to be about half million, and after negotiations it went down to 247k. So my friend chose to default…since the Bill is actually under her mom’s name and her mom isn’t a US resident. Definitely not suggest this way, but my point is that you can negotiate and bring the bill down to 50%.

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Was her Mom able to travel back to the US?

Yes had to rush my FIL to urgent care not ER. All in all abt 1500$ blown by them not buying insurance.

On of my close friend ended with 185k bill for 1 night in ER and air taxi for his dad, also travel insurance didn’t pay a penny saying its a pre existing condition. So he is on payment plan now.

So who is liable for the payment - your friend or his Dad? Also, do you know what kind of final payment plan they agreed with him?

Where can we buy travel insurance for parents? I looked up United Heath but they don't have plans for visitors. I'm so glad I read this post today.

Visitorscoverage.com

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ER is for emergencies. If you are posting here trying to figure out whether to go and how to pay it likely isn’t a true emergency. Just find a regular doctor and pre-negotiate cost with them and get the care needed.

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