Where do I get healthcare in the USA?
As a newcomer to the USA, you need to know where you'll get healthcare when you're sick or hurt.
Where you go for treatment will be different for emergencies and non-emergencies.
If You Have An Emergency
Common emergency signs and symptoms:
Shortness of breath
What To Do
Tell the dispatcher what language you speak
Tell them where you are
Tell them what the emergency is
Go To The Emergency Room
Found at general hospitals
Open every day and all night
Can help illness and injury that needs to be treated right away
What If It's Not An Emergency?
Common non-emergency symptoms:
Where To Go
Usually at the hospital, for less serious illness or pain
Different locations have different hours, look before you go
Google to find them in your area
Can walk in or make an appointment
You have some pain from a leg injury you had in the past. It hurts a little but you can walk ok. What should you do?
Where Can I Buy Medication?
You can buy medication at a pharmacy (sometimes called a drug store), at a corner store, or the supermarket.
For some medication, you'll need a prescription, which means a doctor has to sign a paper for you before you can buy it.
For other medication, you don't need a prescription. This type of medication is called over-the-counter medication.
Pain Medications To Buy At The Store
You can buy these over-the-counter medications at the store without a prescription:
What Are My Rights?
To Have Access
Receive healthcare services and treatment that meet your needs
To Be Respected
Have your culture, identity, beliefs, and choices recognized and respected
Understand benefits and risks of tests and treatments
Receive information about services, waiting times and costs
To Understand Your Care
They must provide an interpreter upon request
To Ask Questions
Medical staff must answer your questions
How Do I Pay For My Healthcare?
An insurance company covers all or most of the costs
You might also have some Medicaid coverage
Out Of Pocket
Pay with your own money
Common for clinics
No cost to you
Ask your case manager or mentor to help you find the nearest one
Healthcare Insurance Portability And Accountability Act
The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of your health information.
You have a right to:
Get a copy of your health records
Receive a copy of your doctor's or clinic's privacy practices
Ask that your health information not to be shared
Refer to these documents for more information: