American Experience | 体验美国

Medical care

July 19, 2014 4:36 am | By Yichen

A friend of mine once told me that one day her roommate wasn’t feeling well because of a stomachache. So she went to the hospital. Then a week later, she received a bill from the hospital of $3,000, which almost killed her.

I don’t know if that story is true, but I do know that unlike it is in China, medical care in the US can be very costly. So my advice to you is, don’t go to the hospital unless you have to! But yes, there are some circumstances that you will have to go to the hospital. Then a few tips here might help you to get away without the huge bill.

female sick in bed

For international students, every college and university in the US has health insurance, and you are required to purchase it. You don’t really need to worry about how to pay for the health insurance, because usually it is included in your tuition and fees. You can go to the school’s website or go to the health center in person to check what the insurance will cover.

Also, always go the health center first if you feel like you need to go to the hospital. Usually every university and college has a health center. They can provide you with basic health and medical care. Then follow the suggestion from the staff there and act accordingly. For example, the staff there will tell you whether you need medicine or whether you need to go to the hospital.

male sick in bed

Last but not least, there is something you may want to know about getting medicine in the US. Unlike it is in China, you won’t get medicine directly from the doctor or from the health center. Usually you will need to get a prescription from the doctor and take the prescription to a pharmacy or a drug store and buy the drugs there. There are non prescription based medications available at drugstores to treat headaches, colds, allergies, and minor infections. If you are not feeling well and you know what kind of drug you need, you can also go to the drug store yourself and buy your medicine.