Health Insurance For Study Abroad StudentsAll students participating in a Study Abroad program are required to be covered by health insurance that the participant has determined to be adequate and satisfactory for any injury or illness that might befall them. Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions, questions to consider when reviewing/purchasing health insurance, and a list of Study Abroad Health Insurance Providers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What determines 'adequate and satisfactory' insurance?
- I am covered under my parents' or the KU student health insurance policy. Is that 'adequate and satisfactory'?
- I don't have health insurance or my current policy is not adequate. What are my options?
- Should I keep my current insurance even if I purchase an additional "Study Abroad" health insurance policy?
- I purchased an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). It provides 'supplemental health insurance'. Is that adequate and satisfactory?
- I heard that while abroad I will have to pay upfront for medical care even if I am insured. Is that true?
- I am currently being treated for a medical condition. Will it be covered while I am abroad?
- I am currently taking prescription medications that I will need to continue to take while abroad. How can I take my prescription medications with me and will my insurance cover them?
- Why do we have to have health insurance if Scholastic Emergency Services (formerly Assist America) is provided in the program fee?
- I purchased a health insurance policy for students studying abroad. It includes medical evacuation and repatriation services, the same services as Scholastic Emergency Services (formerly Assist America). Can I get a refund for the KU required Scholastic Emergency Services?
Study Abroad Health Insurance Providers
Frequently Asked Questions:
What determines 'adequate and satisfactory' insurance?
Only you can determine what level of coverage is adequate and satisfactory for your needs. However, minimum requirements are that the policy provide for reimbursement of medical costs from major medical situations, such as serious accident or illness.
I am covered under my parents' or the KU student health insurance policy. Is that 'adequate and satisfactory'?
You must contact your current insurance provider to determine if they will reimburse you for medical costs while you are abroad. It is recommended that you obtain a copy of their claim form if you are covered by this policy while studying abroad. Determine exactly what services and coverage limitations the policy offers while studying abroad and decide if these meet your personal needs. Obtain an insurance card if you do not already have one.
If your current policy will NOT provide reimbursement for major medical expenses incurred while you are overseas, you MUST check into other options. See the list of providers at the bottom of the page.
I don't have health insurance or my current policy is not adequate. What are my options?
Purchase a major medical policy of your choice, being sure that the policy will cover your study abroad program and that the period of coverage includes the entire time you will be abroad.
Consider policies designed for students studying abroad. Most cover major medical expenses, are relatively inexpensive, and can be purchased by the month. See the list of providers at the bottom of the page.
Should I keep my current insurance even if I purchase an additional "Study Abroad" health insurance policy?
You may decide to continue to keep your current policy in force while studying abroad even though it duplicates some coverage provided by your "Study Abroad" policy. Consider the following:
* If you are currently being treated for a condition for which you may need continuing treatment after your program ends, it is recommended that you do not let your current insurance lapse. Your current insurance carrier may consider the original condition "pre-existing" if you have a break in coverage.
* If you must withdraw from the study abroad program for any reason, your study abroad health insurance coverage might cease. Some study abroad policies require that you are actively participating in a study abroad program for continued coverage.
* Conditions that develop while you are abroad would be considered pre-existing if you had a break in coverage with your current insurer.
* Review the exclusions of your new study abroad policy. Many insurance policies, including those offered for study abroad, have limitations for various conditions. Exclusions you should check for are nervous or mental disorders, eyeglasses/contacts, dental, and routine medical exams.
I purchased an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). It provides 'supplemental health insurance.' Is that adequate and satisfactory?
NO. The ISIC card does NOT provide reimbursement for major medical costs. It is not acceptable as your only health insurance.
I have heard that while abroad I will have to pay upfront for medical care even if I am insured. Is that true?
In most cases study abroad students will need to pay at the time of treatment and submit a claim for reimbursement. It is recommended that you obtain a blank claim form(s) from your insurance company when you verify your coverage abroad or purchase a new policy.
I am currently being treated for a medical condition. Will it be covered while I am abroad?
If you have a condition that requires continuous care or monitoring by a physician, discuss your situation with your US physician(s) and with your insurance provider. This will help you anticipate your medical needs and costs while abroad and to determine if you will be reimbursed.
If you are purchasing new insurance be sure to determine if you have any "pre-existing" conditions and how they will affect your coverage.
I am currently taking prescription medications that I will need to continue to take while abroad. How can I take my prescription medications with me and will my insurance cover them?
If you require prescription medications, you must take an adequate supply with you for the duration of your study abroad program. You should also carry a copy of the prescriptions, including the generic names for the drugs, and written instructions from your physician in case of emergency. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, you should carry a letter from your prescribing physician attesting to your need to take the medication. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult Scholastic Emergency Services or the embassy or consulate of that country prior to departure. Make sure to keep medicines in their original, labeled containers to avoid problems when passing through customs.
You will have to check with your insurance company to see if they will allow you to purchase enough of the medication to have for the duration of your study abroad program. They may require documentation from your doctor or your study abroad advisor.
More information about Traveling with Medications can be found on the U.S. State Department's Tips for Traveling Abroad webpage and/or Mobility International USA's webpage.
Why do we have to have health insurance if Scholastic Emergency Services (formerly Assist America) is provided in the program fee?
Scholastic Emergency Services is NOT health insurance. It provides services that are not covered under most health insurance policies. More information on the program is available on our Scholastic Emergency Services Page.
I purchased a health insurance policy for students studying abroad. It includes medical evacuation and repatriation services, the same services as Scholastic Emergency Services (formerly Assist America). Can I get a refund for the KU required Scholastic Emergency Services policy?
NO. KU Study Abroad participants are covered under a group policy. Scholastic Emergency Services alerts the KU OSA when services are requested. It is critical for KU to ensure that all participants are on the group policy, whether or not it duplicates personal coverage.
Questions to consider while reviewing your current health insurance policy or policies you are considering purchasing:
Is the policy adequate?
* Does the plan include major medical coverage for accidents and illness overseas?
* Does the plan cover visits to the doctor or prescriptions ordered while abroad?
* Does the plan cover emergency room visits?
* What are the plan's deductibles, if any?
* Does the plan provide medical referral services for the country you will be visiting?
* Do you know exactly what the plan covers and what the maximum coverage it will provide?
* Are dental, mental health or vision services covered? If not, how will you handle these emergencies?
* Does the policy cover injuries incurred during high-risk activities such as rock climbing, hang gliding, scuba diving or "contact" sports?
* Does the policy cover you only while enrolled in a Study Abroad Program or are tourist activities before or after the program included?
* How does this policy deal with pre-existing conditions?
How do you use the policy?
* How do you use the plan if you have a medical emergency or need to visit a doctor while abroad?
* Do you have contact information and numbers for your insurance company?
* Do you know how to file a claim? Have you requested a claim form?
* Will translation be required for the claim?
* How long will it take to get reimbursed while abroad?
* Do you have a way to pay for medical expenses if out-of-pocket payment is needed?
* Do you know if you have any "pre-existing" conditions?
* Are there reasons to maintain your current policy even if you need to purchase additional "Study Abroad" coverage?
* Have you considered how to obtain or bring your regular prescriptions abroad?
Study Abroad Health Insurance Providers
The KU OSA does not endorse any particular insurance company. This list is provided to assist your investigations.
American College Student Association (ACSA)
1-800-237-0903 (X 6234)
Associated Insurance Plans International (AIP)
Betins International Health Insurance and Travel Insurance
Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)
CMI Insurance Specialists
HTH Worldwide Insurance Services
International Student Insurance
ISICare Study Abroad Health Plan
VISIT® International Health Insurance Program