Health & insurance
Maine offers excellent health care. As with elsewhere in the US, costs can be prohibitively expensive. It's essential to purchase travel health insurance if your regular policy doesn't cover you when you're abroad.
Bring any medications you may need in their original containers, clearly labeled. A signed, dated letter from your physician that describes all medical conditions and medications, including generic names, is also a good idea.
Before You Go
Health-care costs are extremely high. All travelers are advised to carry a valid health-insurance policy. Without insurance you may be billed the full cost of any care you receive. Costs can easily rise into the thousands of dollars, especially for emergency-room visits. If your health insurance doesn't cover you for medical expenses abroad, consider supplemental insurance. Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
No vaccinations are currently recommended or required for temporary visitors to Maine. For the most up-to-date information, see the website of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (www.cdc.gov).
Recommended items for a medical kit:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin
- Antibacterial ointment (eg Bactroban) for cuts and abrasions
- Antihistamines (for hay fever and allergic reactions)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg ibuprofen)
- Bandages, gauze, gauze rolls
- Insect repellent for the skin
Availability & Cost of Health Care
In general, if you have a medical emergency your best bet is to find the nearest hospital and go to its emergency room. If the problem isn't as urgent, you can call a nearby hospital and ask for a referral to the nearest urgent-care center. These stand-alone, for-profit, urgent-care centers can be convenient, and are generally the best option for non-emergencies.
Pharmacies are abundantly supplied, but you may find that some medications that are available over the counter in your home country (such as Ventolin for asthma) require a prescription in the US and, as always, if you don't have insurance to cover the cost of prescriptions, they can be shockingly expensive.
Tap water is safe to drink in Maine.