Hospital Bills…yikes

April 5, 2019

***Education Abroad would like to highlight the smart guidance that Carolina shares in this post: the importance of understanding in advance what you might need to know to manage an unexpected situation. We encourage all students to learn about the medical resources available and how to file an insurance claim/pay for care received while you are away. While we hope that you will never need this information, it’s better to know and never need it than the reverse.***

A couple weeks ago I decided to go to the Treetop Walk for the second time with some friends. After we finished we got some food and I ended up having an allergic reaction. I wasn’t going to write about this because I don’t want to get too personal about myself in these blog posts but I figured it might help someone be aware of the situation.

I had an allergic reaction to tree nuts and my throat was started to close up. I won’t go into details but basically I couldn’t breathe and ended up using my epipen. This was the first time I ever had a reaction like this and I was really nervous because being in another country, I didn’t know what to expect. I have also never used my epipen before so it was an experience in itself.

Once I injected the epipen, I knew I would be ok for a bit but I needed to go to the hospital because the medicine would wear off eventually. If you can recall, I don’t have a SIM card so I wouldn’t have been able to call an ambulance myself but I’m glad I was with my friends. They called an ambulance and it came within 10 minutes, although it felt like forever. Once I arrived to the hospital, everything happened very quickly and eventually they attended to me.

They gave me shots and pills and the whole process. Not getting into the details too much, the important thing here is payment. You should always enroll in the host school’s insurance plan. I think it is mandatory but in the case that it is not, please do it. You don’t know what could happen to you throughout that entire time, even if you are careful. At the hospital, I was told to pay and then consult with my school on how to handle it financially.

When I spoke to the school, they gave me a brochure with the steps to take to claim the payment. So, you have to fill out a claim form stating everything that happened and how it occured in the first place. Make sure to save all your receipts and papers given out by the hospital. You have to scan them and submit them to the insurance website that your school provides. This is the basic procedure for NTU, but I am sure it is similar to most schools.Then, after that you just have to wait and hear back from the school.

It’s important to know about these things beforehand. For example, when I was reading the insurance brochure, I believe it stated that NTU only covers medical bills from two hospitals in Singapore. Luckily, I was taken to one of them. This time, yes I was lucky but imagine I didn’t go to one of those two hospitals, I would have been in a lot of trouble. Please make sure to read into that information just so you know in case of an emergency.

It was hard to do this by myself because I didn’t have my family with me at the hospital. But, I’m glad that one of my friends came with me for the ambulance and once I got to the hospital. That made me feel so much better and I felt comforted because I saw a familiar face.

To have some nice news…and so I can add some pictures…haha… I went to Chinese Gardens! It was really pretty and so calming. The scenery was beautiful because of all the trees and flowers. It was quite charming and I liked how there were so much grass everywhere. It felt so open and fresh which is needed when you constantly see building stacked up on each other.

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