Overseas Treatment

While we strive our best to provide you with your healthcare needs and treatment on-island, some cases and medical conditions may require overseas treatment. 

Here are some of the frequently answered questions (FAQs) to guide you regarding seeking treatment overseas. 

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Step 1 - The Referral Process

Can I be seen overseas by a physician without a referral from a Physician in Cayman?

Yes. However, if you travel without a referral from a Physician, you will be responsible for the entire cost of the trip including medical expenses. Please check with your insurance company before making this decision.

How does my Physician refer me overseas?

During your visit, your Physician will discuss the need for an overseas referral. You will be given the opportunity to let us know if you have a preferred overseas hospital. This information will be relayed to your insurance company on your behalf but please understand they will make the decision based on their network partnerships. The Physician will then complete a referral form to start the referral process.

What happens next?

You need to contact your insurance company to determine your overseas healthcare benefits. In the meantime, your referral will be electronically sent to the overseas referral office. 

Once the Referrals Office has received the referral, the requisite approval is obtained, and the referral is subsequently emailed to the relevant insurance company who will liaise with you directly about your medical itinerary and travel overseas. Once an appointment is secured, you will be informed of the date by the insurance company.

Step 2 - Insurance Coverage

What does my insurance plan cover?

You must contact your insurance company immediately to understand your healthcare benefits. They will inform you about any co-payments you will be responsible for. These vary from company to company and from plan to plan. Be sure to ask your insurance company about coverage for accommodation, ground transportation, meals, and return flights.

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Step 3 - Preparing for Travel

How do I get there?

The relevant insurance company will advise of your travel benefits. If paperwork is required from the Referrals Office, it will be provided electronically.

Where will I stay?

Depending on your insurance company, they will advise on hotel benefits and the cap amount they will reimburse. The Referrals Office may also provide information on hotels near the facility.

Can my family members accompany me?

Yes. Please contact your insurance company to find out if the cost of travel for family members is covered by your insurance policy.

What do I need to travel?
  • Medical itinerary
  • Passports (Valid for at least 6 months from the travel date.)
  • VISA 
  • Waiver (issued only to Cayman Passports, if eligible
  • ESTA can be used for British Passport holders – approvals may take as long as 72 hours to obtain
  • Cash / Credit cards
  • Healthcare benefits card from your insurance company

Step 4 - Preparing to Return to Cayman

What happens when I am discharged from hospital but am asked to remain overseas for medical treatment as an out-patient?

Contact your insurance company as your healthcare benefits may alter with the change in your situation. Your insurance company will be able to explain the costs that you may be required to pay as an out-patient that were not relevant during your stay in hospital.

What do I need to bring back to Cayman?

Ask your Physician for copies of your in-patient records or your out-patient notes.

Is the medication prescribed by my Physician overseas available in the Cayman Islands?

You are responsible to ensure that your overseas Physician only prescribes medication that is available from the Pharmacy Department at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority. To find out what drugs are available from our Pharmacy Department phone the Pharmacy Overseas Coordinator at 1-345-244 2713.

Note: Medication can be dispensed overseas if unavailable locally or permission can be sought via your insurance company to source medication outside of HSA if unavailable within the HSA.

What if my Overseas Physician needs to prescribe a drug that is not available from the Pharmacy Department at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority?

If your physician needs to prescribe medication that is not available on our online formulary, normally the insurance company is involved. Medication is either issued overseas, specially ordered via the HSA pharmacy, or outsourced to a private pharmacy (with insurance guidance).

How do I get my medication?

At the time of discharge, the overseas facility should provide you with enough medication to last until you return to Cayman. As soon as you return to Cayman bring your prescription to be filled at the Pharmacy Department at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

Many insurance plans do not cover medications overseas upfront – it is normally via reimbursement. An overseas prescription must be countersigned by a local physician to be dispensed in Cayman.

If you have been prescribed a drug that is not available from our Pharmacy Department you should bring a 30-day supply back with you. Remember you need to get approval before buying medications that are not available from our Pharmacy Department. Without approval, depending on the insurance company, you will be responsible for the entire cost of this medication.

Step 5 - Returning to Cayman

What should I do when I get back to Cayman?

Overseas prescriptions are not accepted locally without the countersignature of a local physician. 

Please contact our reintegration co-ordinator immediately to arrange your priority follow-up on Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac. Your reintegration co-ordinator will then arrange for the pharmacy department to dispense a supply of your prescribed medication.

Important points to remember

  • If you have any questions whilst overseas contact your insurance company immediately. Contact telephone numbers can often be found on the back of your Healthcare benefits card.
  • Once you are overseas, if there are any changes to your scheduled medical appointments, please contact your insurance company immediately.
  • If you do not attend your scheduled medical appointment, contact your insurance company immediately.
  • Remember ground transportation and meals are not usually covered by insurance plans, please contact your insurance company to find out exactly what your insurance treatment plan covers.
  • When a patient returns from overseas, they are responsible for securing an appointment with their referring physician for local follow-up and to assist with prescriptions or other needs (e.g. physio, labs, CT/MRI/x-ray/ultrasound) and ensure that if a return overseas is required, the appropriate referral is obtained in a timely manner. 
  • It is outside the remit of the Referrals Office to solicit referrals on behalf of a patient.