Northern California in detail

Health & insurance

Before You Go

Health Insurance

  • Some health-insurance policies require you to get pre-authorization for non-emergency medical treatment before seeking help.
  • Overseas visitors with travel health-insurance policies may need to contact a call center for an assessment by phone before getting medical treatment.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the federal agency that conducts and supports health promotion, prevention and preparedness activities in the United States.
  • San Francisco City Clinic Contact this organization about sexually transmitted diseases, emergency contraception or post-exposure prevention of HIV.

In Northern California

Availability and Cost of Health Care

  • Medical treatment in the USA is of the highest caliber, but the expense could kill you.
  • Many health-care professionals demand payment at time of service, especially from out-of-towners or international visitors.

Tap Water

The tap water is safe to drink.

Medical Services

  • For medical emergencies, call 911 or go to the nearest 24-hour hospital emergency room (ER).
  • For non-emergency medical treatment, phone around to find a doctor who will accept your insurance.