Staying Safe & Healthy
What is an Emergency?
Contact ERDT immediately at 800-321-3738 or 310-450-4624:
- In the event of a death or medical emergency
- If you are a victim of a violent crime
- If you have been arrested
The following are NOT emergencies
In these cases, contact ERDT during the office hours (8:00am to 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time):
- You have been fired from your job
- You have lost your DS-2019 and/or I-94 card
- You have lost your passport
- You have problems with your accommodations/living conditions
- You need basic legal information and advice for procedures and contacts
- If you are a victim of theft or a non-violent crime (lost valuables, luggage, etc.)
- You have workplace questions & concerns (tax questions, notice, final paycheck)
- You have Social Security and tax problems
- You are having problems with receiving your Social Security Card
- You have general questions about jobs and housing
ERDT requires your agent in your home country to arrange your insurance. At your orientation, you received a card or document listing your name, insurance company and policy number. Put the insurance card in your wallet, and keep it in there until you have finished your Work & Travel Program and return home.
You will need to show this card when seeking medical treatment. If you lose it, immediately contact your agent in your home country for a new copy.
In the U.S. having medical insurance doesn't mean that all services are free. Most insurance policies will charge you a large fee if you go to the emergency room for a non-emergency. Also, you may have to pay a small fee, called a deductible, any time you seek medical attention.
Ensure your insurance covers you for your entire trip in the U.S., including the grace period. If you are found to be in the U.S. without insurance, your program could be terminated.
The Four Kinds of Medical Facilities
The insurance probably has a list of specific doctors (also known as Primary Care Physicians) that can be used for a low cost or no cost. This can be less expensive than Urgent Care if there is time to make an appointment - for example, to get medicine for a cold or rash that won't go away, or to get a refill on a prescription, or for a minor infection.
Work & Travel participants would most commonly use a Walk-In Clinic for services that are not covered by their insurance, such as vaccinations, pregnancy tests or getting a prescription for birth control, or getting a physical exam (for sports, for example). They will need to pay for many services at Walk-In Clinics. However, the cost would typically be lowest at a Walk-In Clinic. Care is offered on a first-come/first-served basis. They do not take appointments.
Urgent care is probably the most typical health care facility for Work & Travel participants, who are likely to face urgent non-emergencies such as sudden illness or allergic reaction, or a minor accident (broken bone, non-life-threatening cut). The cost may be higher than with a doctor's office. Urgent care is usually open evenings and weekends, unlike a doctor's office. Work & Travel participants should know where an urgent care center is in the community, before they come to the U.S.
The Emergency Room should only be used when a student believes his/her life may be at risk (trouble breathing, chest pain, severe bleeding, trouble maintaining consciousness). Please read this article on when it is appropriate to use the Emergency Room.
Getting Hurt at Work
Your employer has Worker's Compensation insurance, which covers your medical care if you are injured at work, even if it was your fault. If you are injured at work, tell your employer immediately that you were injured and ask for a claim form. Then, contact ERDT immediately. It is illegal for the employer to refuse to give you a claim form, or to fire you for having an injury at work.
If you are hurt outside of work, and cannot work
If you cannot work due to an illness, or an injury that happened outside of work, your employer can legally fire you. If this happens, ERDT can allow you to stay in the U.S. for 3 weeks to try to recover and start work again. If you are unable to start work again after 3 weeks, or if you cannot afford to live in the U.S. while not working, ERDT will end your program and you may either return home immediately, or travel during the grace period.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I need to visit the doctor and can't find my insurance information?
Contact your agent in your home country who arranged your insurance. If you are unable to contact them, contact ERDT. If you have a medical emergency, do not wait to find your insurance information, seek medical attention immediately.