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20. Doctors in U.S.

God forbid, but if something happens to you, here is what you should know:

- The Medical Benefit Card, which is sent by the Medical Insurance Company, is an important card and should be acquired at the earliest. Fill up the Medical forms sent by DCI and return those immediately to DCI to ensure that you are registered with the Insurance Company after you land in the U.S.

- This card entitles you to coverage under certain medical categories only.

- There is a $100 deductible. Which means if you land into medical problems, you have to pay the first 100 dollars from your pocket. Thereafter the Insurance company takes over the payment depending on the coverage plan etc.

- There are two acceptable ways of payment for the Doctor's services which depends on the Doctor. The Doctor's receptionist is the best person to ask payment-related questions. Some Doctors ask you to pay them (by cash, check, credit card etc.) immediately after the service. The receptionist will then give you a formal bill, which you must send (by postal mail) to the Medical Insurance Company along with the claim form supplied by DCI (which comes in with the initial package soon after you land in the U.S. ) The Medical Ins. Co. will then send you a check after verifying your claim. Other Doctors will note down the details of your Medical Insurance Company from your card. They will then send the bill to the Insurance Company and receive the payment directly. You need not pay the Doctor. But in both the above modes, remember that there are certain charges which the Insurance Company will not pay and which they don't cover, such as the first $100. So find out the details from the Insurance Co. about your respective coverage/medical problem etc.

- For certain kinds of medical problems, where you have to visit the Doctor repeatedly, only a fixed number of visits per year are paid by the Insurance Company and not all.

- How to decide on the Doctor to visit? Ask your colleagues or other Indian friends. Otherwise check up the yellow pages (phone directory). Look under the "Physicians" heading. Telephone the Doctor and fix up an appointment. Only in cases of emergency, do the Doctors see you immediately, otherwise it is always by appointment.

- You can claim the expenses for any Dr. prescribed medicine that you have to buy from the Drug (medical) Store.


- Pain in the lower back and strain between the shoulder blades and a stiff neck are very common due to the kind of spring mattresses and soft foam pillows available in the U.S. and one just needs to get used to it.

- Beware of Dental problems since they are usually not fully covered under the Insurance Scheme.


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