Healthcare Basics for Expats in Washington, D.C.
Below you will find information for navigating healthcare in Washington, D.C.
For a general article about the United States, read our article that provides information about Healthcare in the US.
Hospitals in Washington, D.C.
There are a large number of hospitals in Washington, D.C. As is the case with individual physicians, you need to make sure that medicine, tests and other forms of care you receive in a hospital is covered by your health plan. In an emergency, it is likely that the care you get in an Emergency Room will be covered, but that may only be what is necessary to get you or your loved one stabilized. Anything above and beyond that may incur a cost. Find out before you utilize care in any hospital!
Here is a list of hospitals in Washington, D.C.:
Childern's National Hospital
The George Washington University Hospital
The HSC Health Care System
Howard University Hospital
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital
Medstar Washington Hospital Center
Psychiatric Institute of Washington
Sibley Memorial Hospital
(2 locations in Washington, D.C.)
St. Elizabeths Hospital (Government psychiatric hospital)
United Medical Center
The metro Washington, D.C. area plays a major role in the health care industry in the United States. There are several government research centers, most prominently the National Institutes of Health in nearby Bethesda, Maryland.
Pharmacies in Washington, D.C.
There are a large number of pharmacies in Washington, D.C. - these include large chains, independent pharmacies, and supermarkets that have pharmacy departments located within them.
Most residents in the district tend to have one pharmacy near their home that they frequent, but that is not always the case. Verify that the pharmacy has the prescription medication you are looking for and that they can process it through your insurance company. You may have to use more than one pharmacy to meet the needs you and/or your family.
The biggest Pharmacy chains in the United States are CVS, Walgreens and the pharmacy department of Walmart.
CVS Locations in Washington, D.C.
You can research Walmart Stores in or near Washington, D.C. (within 10 miles - you can expand the search area if needed).
You can use the Walgreens store locator to find locations near where you live in D.C. (or areas you are considering).
Giant Food has several locations in and around Washington, D.C. and they have pharmacy departments. Verify a particular location has a pharmacy before going there.
Similarly, Safeway has several locations in Washington, D.C.. Verify a particular location has a pharmacy before going there.
Additionally, here is a list on Yelp of several independent pharmacies in Washington, D.C..
Urgent Care in Washington, D.C.
In the United States, urgent care facilities are becoming more widely used. These medical centers provide unscheduled medical care for illnesses and injuries that are not critical in nature (not threatening loss of life or limb, necessitating surgery, etc.). Additionally, these tend to be open longer hours than a primary care doctor and are often closer to home than major hospitals and other medical facilities. Again, find out what is covered by your plan before you go! Emergency care to get you stabilized is generally covered, but find out what is and what isn't.
As with any other provider, find out if an urgent care facility accepts your insurance BEFORE you go.
Urgent Care providers located in Washington, D.C. include:
Medstar - Capitol Hill
Online Check In Available (follow link above)
Medstar - Adams Morgan
Online Check In available (follow link above)
Farragut Medical and Travel Care - Centrally located in downtown Washington, DC.
Phone: (202) 775-8500
Minute Clinic - DC Locations
- (Located in CVS and Target stores nationwide. Having urgent care in a pharmacy can be highly convenient.) Follow link to list of Washington, D.C. locations.
- Locations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Follow link to list of these locations.
Additional Healthcare Resources in Washington, D.C.
You can check out Washingtonian.com's list of the Best Doctors in Washington, D.C. for a good starting point on finding individual physicians. There are other excellent doctors not on the list, but it's a good place to start.
Healthgrades D.C. section provides a similar service.
Please note that you have to verify that your plan includes a physician you wish to receive treatment from in order to have the cost of their care covered by the insurance provider.
DC.gov's Official Health Page has excellent resources related to healthcare in the district.
A new state-of-the-art health care facility was announced for Southeast DC in the Fall of 2019. The facility will provide services like dental, primary, behavioral and substance misuse treatment care for residents in Congress Heights. It's noted in the article that this will help the effort to offer quality healthcare in every neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
Again, for a general article about the United States, read our article Healthcare in the US.
Expat Health Insurance in United States
Expats interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.