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Health + Health insurance

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency in the U.S. you call 911 for the help of the police, fire department or ambulance service. With a European mobile phone, one can also dial the international number 112, which will be automatically transferred to 911.

Health Risks

America has no special health risks and vaccinations are not mandatory (always check this before travel)

Almost everywhere tap water is reliable drinking water, except in some areas in Alaska. It often does not taste good because there is chlorine in it, especially in larger cities. Bottled water is also readily available in less populated areas. A portable Brita pitcher is a cost effective way to take the chlorine and other undesirable things out of the water.

The UV index and hours of sunshine in the south and central U.S. is higher than in other parts of the world. Between March and September the maximum UV index is 11. Therefore the use of sunscreen with a high factor is advised to prevent sunburn.


Some medicines, which are freely obtainable elsewhere can only be bought by prescription in the U.S. Ask your doctor if your prescribed medication contains drugs and, if necessary, take a medical certificate (in English) with you.

There are medications, such as amphetamines, which might be seen as illegal drugs by the U.S. Customs and the local police. If there is no doctor’s statement you risk a fine or even imprisonment.

Health Insurance

Medical treatment in America is expensive and hospitalization is unaffordable with out proper insurance. Please check the terms and conditions of your health insurance for worldwide coverage before you go to the U.S. If not, then it is wise to have a temporary, supplemental health insurance.

In the U.S. doctors and social workers should be paid directly, or they want proof that payment is guaranteed. Therefore, always have your insurance certificate (preferably in English) with you.

In case of hospitalization it is advised to immediately notify your insurance company, so they can take care of the payment. Be sure to have the details (which hospital, which doctor, telephone number, etc.) at hand.

USA Bike Tours does not sell travel insurances because your choice strongly depends on the terms and conditions of the health insurance contract(s) you already have.