|No one can predict natural disasters, cancelled air flights, sickness or accidents, damaged or lost luggage, or civil unrest during an education abroad experience. Persons considering foreign travel should determine what travel health insurance coverage, if any, they need while outside the United States. Medicare and most U.S. health plans do not cover health care costs outside the United States and its territories, except under limited circumstances in Canada and Mexico. The university requires that all students and faculty traveling abroad on university sponsored business have and show documentation of international medical and travel coverage. Individual protection is a personal financial responsibility. |
Students should determine if their current health insurance plan covers medical expenses in foreign countries. If it does not, they must purchase supplemental health insurance for travel abroad and carry evidence of their health plan’s coverage with them. Florida A&M University requires that a copy of the student’s international health plan identification card, provided by the insurer, be attached to the International Travel Participation Agreement for short-term study with a copy maintained in the trip leader’s notebook. Students applying to a semester study abroad program must attach a copy of the card to their OIED Health Form. Some study abroad providers include health coverage for the semester abroad. It is the responsibility of the student to determine the extent of any health coverage by the provider during the application process.
It is advisable for participants to scan health plan cards and email them to themselves as a special precaution and for ease of access. In some short-term travel programs, international insurance is provided by the vendor or through the grant underwriting the trip. If this is the case, a copy of the plan indicating the student’s name must be attached to the International Travel Participation Agreement.
International travel medical insurance and emergency plans provide beneficial assistance when traveling abroad whether for a week or several weeks. OIED will provide students and accompanying faculty or staff with information about travel insurance. Faculty sponsoring or leading short-term travel can include group insurance cost in the cost of the trip to insure all participants are covered.
A number of companies provide group travel options that cover emergency medical expenses, physician fees, hospital fees, emergency medical evacuation, and medical assistance. In the event that a traveler pays non-refundable trip fees and has to cancel at the last minute, it is beneficial to have the Optional Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The average cost per student is ranges from $25 to $50 for a one or two week short-term travel experience. Quality insurance plans include coverage for hospital care, surgery, office visits, prescription drugs and medical evacuation.
Web sites for some of the established companies providing comprehensive travel services and online quotes are: