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Washington DC - Healthcare & Medical Treatment

Important Phone Numbers:

For emergency assistance (Fire / Ambulance): 911

For non-emergency assistance: 311 (for DC city services)

Metropolitan Police Department: 311

Social Services Information: (202) INFO-211 / 463-6211

For more resources on how to prepare yourself and your family in emergencies, refer to DC's government website at

Expatriates living in DC will have a good range of medical and healthcare facilities and services to choose from. DC is home to one of US most regarded hospitals – the Washington Hospital Center. There are also specialist hospitals, such as the Children's National Medical Center and the National Rehabilitation Hospital. The local community hospitals and the research-based hospitals are listed in the the dcpages . Contact details, locations and short descriptions of each hospital are provided.

The provision of health insurance and medical care in US is by private medical institutions. Healthcare can be expensive in the US. Expatriates moving to the US should check to see that their insurance would cover medical expenses from private medical institutions in the US. Most employers may offer some kind of group insurance scheme, and you should consider buying one to cover yourself and your family, if you are not already covered by a private insurance. It is recommended that you opt for a health insurance plan that covers hospitalization, outpatient (GP or family doctor treatments) and other medical procedures such as surgery.

In the US, the doctor gives prescriptions, but you are expected to buy your own medicine as indicated in the prescription. You can purchase your medication at many places, such as the local drug stores and large stores like Walmart or Safeway or Rite Aid.

The National Health programs, such as Medicaid (for the poor) and Medicare (for the elderly) are usually not available for expatriates, especially those who are in the US for a year or less. The DC Department of Health (Tel: (202) 671-5000) provides information on getting a private insurance, health benefits and entitlements, discounts for prescribed drugs, and how to get assistance on medical and healthcare issues in the DC.

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

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