Stephen F. Austin State University

Health Insurance and Safety Abroad

Study abroad is not risk free. SFA requires all study abroad participants to have health and accident insurance while studying abroad which provides, at a minimum, coverage for emergency medical care and treatment, hospitalization, and physician charges in the country where the Host Institution is located, as well as insurance for medical evacuation, repatriation and medical reunion.

Identify your own health needs. It's up to you to make an informed decision about the relative risks associated with travel to any particular place around the world. Read carefully any information about health and safety provided by your program. You may also check out the National Center for Infectious Diseases to receive information on any required or recommended vaccinations. Make sure you have adequate health insurance coverage while you are abroad.

Health Insurance Resource

Most US health insurance plans have some limitations for treatment outside the US and very few have medical evacuation repatriation or family reunion benefits so we strongly recommend you purchase supplemental coverage for the duration of your time abroad. You should also maintain your US insurance to ensure continuous coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

There are many different travel insurance options and choosing the right provider can get confusing. This completely free and comprehensive guide helps students choose which insurance provider best suits their needs by featuring expert reviews, detailed comparisons, and data-driven ratings - saving travelers both time and effort in an otherwise time-intensive and blind decision process.

Health Insurance for SFA Faculty-led Programs

In order to ensure that all SFA students participating on an faculty-led program have necessary health insurance while abroad, OIP has instituted a policy that all students participating on a college -related travel abroad program must purchase the Accident & Illness Insurance administered by INext. The cost of this insurance is included in the program cost. The plan offers coverage above and beyond the coverage offered by typical U.S. health plans. For example, it covers repatriation of remains, emergency medical evacuation, emergency medical reunion and 24 -support assistance service.

Study abroad participants should, however, always consider one's own health condition, talk with one's physician, and ensure that one has adequate coverage to meet your personal needs on top of this insurance. Note that pre-existing conditions are excluded from coverage.

Affiliate and Exchange Study Abroad Programs

Most Non-SFA study abroad programs package health insurance and assistance plans in their program fee. We recommend that you review the insurance benefits packaged with your study abroad program and decide if the coverage provided is adequate.

If you want or need to purchase your own plan or supplemental coverage, the following insurance providers offer overseas medical insurance policies:
• FrontierMEDEX Insurance
• Cultural Insurance Services International
• HTH Worldwide
• International Student Insurance
• Travel Guard
• TruTravel Insurance

Flight and travel insurance

Flight and travel insurance are not included as part of the program fee. Flight insurance may be purchased at most international airports. Flight insurance covers you only when you are on the airplane and will not remove the need for more inclusive coverage. Should you wish to secure travel insurance for your luggage and other personal effects or cancellation coverage, an insurance agent or travel agent can provide you with information.

Safety and Health

• Read and carefully consider all materials issued by the OIP, your individual program, the U.S. Dept. of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International SOS and your personal doctor about issues or recommendations that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in host countries.

• Consider your health and other personal circumstances when applying for or accepting a place in a program. Medical care abroad is very different than it is in the U.S. You should be sure that you are very comfortable handling any personal health concerns while abroad in a very different environment.

• Disclose to OIP accurate and complete physical and mental health information and any other personal data that is necessary in planning for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.

• Assume responsibility for your own personal preparation for the program and participate fully in pre-departure and on-site orientations.

• Obtain and maintain appropriate insurance coverage and abide by any conditions imposed by the carriers.

• Inform parents, guardians and any others who may need to know about your participation in the study abroad program. Provide them with emergency contact information, and keep them informed on an ongoing basis.

• Understand and comply with the terms of participation and codes of conduct, and obey host country laws.

• Be aware of local conditions that may present health or safety risks when making daily choices and decisions. Promptly express any health or safety concerns to the program director or other appropriate individuals.

• Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others.

• Accept responsibility and consequences of your own decisions and actions.

• Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and law enforcement services in the host country.
• Follow the program policies for keeping host country program staff informed of your whereabouts and well-being.