Health Insurance While Abroad
It is important for you to have adequate health insurance
coverage while you are abroad. Failure to obtain coverage can
result in anything from very high medical bills to refusal to be
treated in a hospital or doctor's office. In many countries,
foreigners must prove that they have medical insurance before they
can be treated and are often required to pay cash up-front. No
matter where you go or what treatment you may seek, SAVE
ALL MEDICAL BILLS AND RECEIPTS.
Check to see if your current medical coverage is valid outside
of the United States. Find out how you would file a claim from
abroad and how the insurance company would handle the claim. Ask
your insurance company if they provide benefits for medical
evacuation and repatriation. Although it is not a pleasant subject
to think about, you need to be aware of what would happen if you
were to fall seriously ill while abroad and had to return to the US
for medical treatment. For example, some policies provide an air
ambulance with accompanying nurse or physician for instances where
the patient must return to the home country. Without insurance this
service may cost up to $10,000. If your current policy does not
provide such coverage, consider purchasing some form of
supplemental insurance coverage. It is to your benefit to
thoroughly research your options prior to committing to a specific
Other questions to ask your insurance carrier include:
- What type of coverage does the international health insurance
- Does it provide for medical evacuation and repatriation? If so,
will it pay for evacuation to the home country or only to the
nearest medical facility?
- How much does the policy cost?
- What are the eligibility requirements for this policy?
- Are pre-existing conditions covered? If so, is there a waiting
- If I become ill or am injured while overseas, how will the
- Do I pay for services rendered and receive reimbursements
- If I am unable to pay in advance for services rendered, will
this policy provide assistance?
- Does this policy require a deductible?
- When does the coverage for this policy begin and when does it
- Does this policy provide coverage specifically in (country
- Will this policy provide coverage for trips to the U.S. during
my school breaks and/or holidays?
- Will the policy provide coverage outside my host country during
my study abroad program?
- Whom do I ask if I have questions about the coverage while
- In addition to accident and sickness coverage, what other
services does your policy provide? (e.g., 24 hour operator
assistance, information on English speaking doctors and/or
translators, travel insurance, etc.)
If you're not currently covered by medical insurance,
you are advised to enroll in a policy designed for US students who
will be studying abroad. Contact information for companies
which offer supplemental insurance for international study is
List Of Supplemental Insurance Providers
The following supplemental insurance providers are options for
your consideration. Butler University does not endorse any specific
insurance plan. Those listed below are provided for your
information and reference. Your decision to purchase coverage from
any provider should be made after careful examination of policy
coverage. Please contact the policy provider directly for any
specific plan questions you may have.
Champion Insurance Advantage, Ltd.
Tel: (800) 643-4675
HTH Worldwide Insurance Service
Tel: (800) 242-4178
Health Insurance for U.S. Students Studying
International Scholastic Overseas Service
Tel: (800) 767-1403
Tel: (800) 821-2828
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
The ISIC can be valuable when studying abroad. It is recognized
worldwide and immediately proves that you are eligible to receive
available discounts on travel, accommodations and admission to
museums, theaters and other cultural activities in more than 90
countries. It offers savings of up to 50% over commercial fares on
intra-European travel and many other benefits, including illness
and accidental death insurance coverage. Additionally, a 24-hour
help line is available to holders of the ISIC. The number to call
in any emergency is +1 (713) 267-2525; you must mention the group
number you were given by the agent who issued you the card. Take
this number with you as it is *NOT* written on
your ISIC card.
Many study abroad programs will automatically provide you with
this card and you should check with your program directly to see if
this is the case. If one is not provided, you can obtain the ISIC
from the Center for Global Education. You must complete the
application in the Center for Global Education, bring one
passport-size photo, and $22. Be sure to get one of the ISIC
Handbooks, too, so you can take full advantage of the card's
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