Excellent medical and dental care is readily available in the United States. Naval Health Clinic New England
(NHCNE) provides outpatient care to military members, and, to a certain extent, their family members. There are also several fine civilian clinics and a major civilian hospital in the area. Numerous civilian doctors and dentists practice in the local Newport area.
Entitlement to Treatment
Medical care from a military medical facility is not always without cost. Medical entitlements vary from country to country, and private medical insurance can be very expensive. Each foreign government has entered into a bilateral agreement with the U.S. government regarding medical care of military personnel and their dependents. These agreements are different from country to country, and even change year by year. In many cases, care for known medical or dental problems could be treated in your own country at less personal expense than in the United States. Read this section on Medical Information carefully, and ask questions of your embassy to ensure you have complete answers BEFORE you leave your country.
The Invitational Travel Orders (ITO) is the only authority for receiving medical entitlements, so it is important for the student to understand the provisions of his/her own ITO. Block 12b of the ITO lists the medical entitlement of the student as well as the entitlement of authorized dependents.
Dependents must be authorized to accompany you and listed on your ITO. Dependents cannot be authorized on the ITO without health care coverage.
Lack of health insurance coverage for dependents revealed at any time during training, could result in the student's removal from scheduled training and return to country. As used in this section, the term “dependent” is a person who bears one of the following relationships to the military member:
(1) A spouse
(2) An unmarried child, including an adopted or stepchild, who is dependent on the military member for over one-half of his or her support and who either:
(a) Has not passed his or her twenty-first birthday; or
(b) Is incapable of self-support due to a physical or mental incapacity that existed prior to his or her reaching the age of twenty-one; or
(c) Has not passed his or her twenty-third birthday and is enrolled in a
full-time course of study in an accredited institution of higher learning.
International Military Students
Medical treatment at NHCNE for NCC and NSC officers is available following the same guidelines that apply to United States Officers.
Dental services are limited and even routine care can be curtailed at times. Dental service for dependents is limited to strictly emergencies only, and the only treatment that can be provided is that required to deal with the emergency. All students should ensure that all routine dental care for themselves and their families is obtained in your country.
Authorized dependents are entitled to treatment at NHCNE on the same basis as U.S. military dependents.
Dental services for family members of international students, just like U.S. dependents, are limited to emergencies only, and the only treatment that can be provided is that required to deal with the emergency (i.e., pain management). All routine and follow-up care (tooth extraction, cavity fillings, cleanings) must be obtained through a civilian dentist. All bills for dental service for family members will be paid in accordance with the ITO.
Payment for Treatment/Medical Insurance for Family Members
Dependents cannot be authorized on the ITO without health care coverage. Private medical insurance can be very difficult to obtain in the United States. There are several companies known to offer health insurance policies to international travelers and students; however, these policies are usually expensive, and generally do not provide comprehensive coverage for many cases. Students must purchase international health care coverage for a twelve-month period before arriving in the United States. Be aware, for patients with no health or medical coverage, a simple visit to the hospital emergency room could leave you paying a bill upwards of $1,000 to $50,000 or more.
Typical private insurance costs in the United States:
Premium: The premium is the monthly cost of the insurance and could be about $200-$500 per month per person.
Deductible: The deductible is the amount of medical expenses you must pay before the insurance company will begin to make payments. The lower the deductible amount, the higher the premium will be. A typical deductible amount would be $250 to $2500.
Copayments: After the deductible amount has been satisfied, often the insured is responsible for copayments. The insurance company will pay 80 percent, and you would pay 20 percent of the medical expenses up to a stated amount. Beyond that, the insurance company will pay 100 percent up to the limits of the policy.
If you arrive in Newport with a pregnant spouse, or she becomes pregnant while you are here, it is important to immediately determine who bears the responsibility for payment of prenatal care and delivery. Having a baby in the United States is extremely expensive—costs can run as high as $15,000.00 to $25,000.00. In most cases,medical insurance will not cover the costs of delivering a baby unless you have had the insurance for more than one year. If your ITO does not specifically state that your country will pay for the delivery, you will be paying out of your own pocket.
The best time to ask health insurance questions is before you leave your country. It may be possible for your embassy in the United States to add you to their group insurance plan with a U.S. company, and in some cases, even pay for the coverage.