Working Abroad? How to Prepare Yourself in Case of a Work-Related Injury
Working abroad inherently comes with an onslaught of questions regarding how to manage finances, legal matters, and medical treatment. Although many workers may not expect to find themselves dealing with a work-related injury while working abroad, it is a common occurrence. In THE US, especially, farm work, agricultural labor, and construction pose a risk for injury on the job. Fortunately, medical repatriation services like Allista exist. They connect and transport injured workers to their home country’s hospitals in order to provide treatment.
What is Medical Repatriation?
If you’re planning to work abroad, medical repatriation is a term you should familiarize yourself with. In basic terms, medical repatriation is the process of returning a person back to their country of origin. This may be necessary due to injuries, illness, or trauma while abroad.
Medical repatriation provides the following advantages:
- Breaks down language barriers
- Prevents legal situations (ex. reporting undocumented workers to authorities)
- Lower medical costs
- Decreased burden for U.S hospital
Ultimately, medical repatriation may be an option in the event of a work-related injury while working abroad. However, there are a number of ways to prepare for such an injury before it occurs.
Know Your Status and Coverage Options
Migrant workers often face dangerous jobs. In 2015, the fatality rate for agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting was 22.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers. Therefore, if a work-related injury occurs, workers need to know their status as a worker and the rights that accompany that status in order to obtain treatment.
- Non-US Citizens – If you are an immigrant presenting lawfully you may qualify for benefits even though you are not a US citizen. Under the Affordable Care Act, immigrants are eligible for subsidies that cover the expenses of medical visits. This is applicable regardless of how long a person has been in the U.S.
- Undocumented Immigrants – The ACA does not provide benefits to unlawfully present immigrants. This group also does not qualify for Medicaid. However, a number of non-lawfully present immigrants obtain coverage through student health plans, employer coverage, and individual plans. Regardless of status or ability to pay, immigrants are ensured access to screening and stabilization services in Medicare-participating hospitals’ emergency rooms.
Additionally, there are a number of other healthcare options available for migrant workers depending on status and age to explore.
Keep Records of Medical History
A catastrophic injury can occur at any time on the job. There is a chance you may be unable to share your medical history with the doctors that first treat you or the hospital you are transported to. In that case, you want to make sure family or professionals acting on your behalf can get you the treatment you need.
Even if you are conscious and alert on the site of a work-related injury, try and document as much about the incident and your condition as possible on paper. If medical deportation becomes the best option, it is important to keep caretakers and doctors informed at the earliest stages.
Research and Contact Healthcare Allies Abroad
The more you educate yourself about your options in the event of a work-related injury the faster you will receive high-quality, affordable care. Reaching out to organizations that oversee and carry out the entire medical repatriation process for immigrants is a great first step. Although “deportation” is not a word used lightly in today’s world, the ethics of medical deportation are sound. Patients often receive the same high-quality care they would have received in the United States had they had the insurance necessary for such care.
Allista Connects Patients to Leading Medical Care in Mexico
Allista helps patients return to work with a regained quality of life. Working abroad presents many risks but knowing about Allista and being ready to contact them if necessary is a step towards long-term health. If for some reason you or a loved one requires immediate emergency or long-term care from a work-related injury, Allista has partnerships with Mexico’s leading hospitals, including Americas Hospital and Hospital en Casa that can provide it. Allista can connect patients to specialty services including rehabilitative care that may be necessary following an injury. Contact Allista today to learn how their professional medical repatriation services can help you or someone you care about.
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