Emergencies will not give you much room for last minute planning or choices. Having a good insurance plan or plenty of credit cards may facilitate an emergency. First aide is good to know also.
This of course give you more room for planning as well as finding your choice of resource. As this is often a situation that we can not often opt out, I hope to include as many viable options we can to save money here.
Often if you look hard, you may find a medical or dental school near you that offers service at a great discount. Most all have qualified instructors overseeing your care. Service is usually really good, but be prepared for it to take longer as there is more time involved with instructor communications.
These may have a waiting list as well as charges that are based on your income. If you are in a low income, these are a great way to go also but in some countries you may even have to wait in a long line.
This is likely to be available only by country which could give some folk in long term need a reason to relocate to a new country too. Checking with your local government will help you find out if it is available in your country.
Traveling to another country is often a way to save a lot of money on more serious medical needs. I am more often hearing about these options. It is safer to do your research first and look for a referral or track record on a medical service. Include travel costs in your research too. I had a client that was very happy with his hip replacement in India and saved over 30,000 dollars as he did not have insurance. Often in some other countries the cost of medical is almost the same as the co-payment you would make with having insurance. Of course quality of care is good too as long as you do your research well. One time while I was in Philippines I went to doctor and the visit included all the medications too for about $12.
As medical insurance often does not cover this and even some dental insurances may have limitations, shopping around is important. Of course it is cheaper and quality of care is good too as long as you do your research well. Travel cost and distance is likely to be important in this as well. I had a lower cost dentist locally offered a root canal and cap for $1700 when I was in pain. He Tried to first schedule the job before I would leave with out offering medication til I asked about anti-biotic for infection. Then after I asked, he wrote prescription for the anti-biotic. I proceeded to go home with out appointment and do my research. Travel broker quoted $1,000 for round trip to the Philippines. Called dentist in Philippines to get price a of $150 dollars and I already knew Hotel there was less than $15 per night. After the whole trip my total cost was roughly about $1,500 and i had a 2 week vacation with swimming on a tropical beach. Was this higher bill also because I had the dentist there do all my dental work while they were at it. This included additional numerous fillings,x-rays, and cleaning for total dental bill of about $300. Also in the US consider going to Mexico border with a dental tour group as I have heard this will save money too.
Unfortunately, due to regulations of government is is hard to ship very much medication by mail across the border. More research is needed her on my part but I have heard someone say that transporting prescription drugs with a doctor’s prescription across the border is limited to 3 months worth for the US. However, I have also heard of folk going to Mexico to get their medicine much cheaper. In many countries there are many more medications available over the drug store counter with out a prescription. This alone can save you money on doctor bills if you like living abroad. When I bought prescription medication in the Philippines, it was very close to the cost of what a insurance co-payment would likely be here in the US.