Travel Medical Insurance & Trip Insurance
Whether you're abroad or at home, it's a good idea to plan for unexpected health issues, accidents, and unexpected events.
Although traveling abroad is an experience of a lifetime, your new lifestyle can present an opportunity for unplanned health complications.
International Medical Insurance
Unfortunately, accidents and illness are a part of life, but these unpredictable moments strike when you least expect it. For this reason, Indiana University requires any person participating on a study abroad program administered by an IU campus to be covered under a travel medical insurance plan which includes medical evacuation and repatriation. International medical insurance policies cover your medical expenses in case you become ill or suffer an accident while traveling, including hospitals stays and medical evacuation.
Please note, international medical insurance does not reimburse you if you become ill before your trip or for expenses you can’t use because you become ill, such as pre-purchased tickets or hotels. If you have concerns about your trip being cancelled or interrupted we suggest you look into buying a trip insurance policy through a trusted company.
Buying Health Insurance for an IU Administered Program
If you are a student participating on an IU program you don’t need to worry about shopping for an insurance plan. Indiana University’s Office of Overseas Study has already vetted an accident and sickness plan that covers you while you are abroad. The current insurance plan is administered by GeoBlue; it costs about $35 per month. Make sure to download the GeoBlue app before you leave for your program.
An important thing to know about this plan is that you must pay the physician or hospital at the time of treatment. After you have paid your medical bill you may submit a claim for reimbursement from GeoBlue. It is therefore extremely important that you have emergency funds to temporarily cover these medical bills until you are reimbursed by GeoBlue. Download the claim form
This insurance will cover you only during the official dates of your study abroad program - you cannot extend this coverage for travel before or after your program. If you are traveling on your own outside of the program dates (either before or after the program), we strongly encourage you to purchase additional insurance so you will have international health insurance for your entire stay abroad. You must pay for this additional coverage yourself; you cannot purchase it through the Study Abroad Office. The US Department of State has compiled this list of insurance providers. Please note that travel medical insurance may only cover a percentage of your final medical related costs. Make sure to read and understand your policy before departure.
International Medical Insurance For Your Non-IU Administered Program
If you are participating on a study abroad program that’s not administered by an IU campus, you need to be sure you have sufficient international medical insurance coverage before you depart. You will not be able to purchase the accident and sickness insurance plan through the IUPUI Study Abroad Office. However, you may want to refer to this plan as a guide when shopping for insurance.
There are many websites available to assist you in your search for an insurance plan, including the U.S. Department of State’s listing of travel insurance companies. The IUPUI Study Abroad Office does not endorse any of these insurance companies.
Trip insurance policies can reimburse you in the event that something goes wrong before or during your trip. Instead of reimbursing you for hospital fees or emergency transportation, trip insurance reimburses you for the things you bought but didn’t use. Lost luggage, travel delays, and cancelling plans due to illness or inclement weather are all things that trip insurance might cover. Read more on the IU Office of Insurance, Loss Control & Claims' trip insurance informational page.
The price of trip insurance depends on your age, your total non-refundable travel costs, and the type of plan you purchase. You can typically expect to pay between 4% to 10% of your total travel costs for a trip insurance policy.
Unlike international medical insurance, which is required by IU, trip insurance is optional yet strongly recommended. It is purchased by students directly. When researching your trip insurance options, we suggest you choose a comprehensive plan that will cover the widest variety of travel issues and ideally a plan that includes Cancel for Any Reason coverage.
Important: Please read about potential trip insurance options on the Office of Insurance, Loss Control & Claims webpage.
Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption
Cancellation and Interruption coverage offers you reimbursement for unforeseen events that prevent you from traveling or force your travel plans to end early. The coverage may reimburse you for expenses you aren’t able to recover and even for additional expenses you might incur when arranging travel home on short notice. Plans with this kind of coverage have lists of specific causes of cancellation/interruption that are eligible for reimbursement. Typical covered cancellation reasons would be traffic accident on the way to the airport, death in the family or illness.
Cancel for any Reason (CFAR) & Interrupt for any Reason (IFAR) Coverage
You can add CFAR coverage to your insurance policy for an additional fee. Whereas normal Cancellation coverage only pays you back if your reason for cancellation is listed in your policy, CFAR coverage pays a percentage of your trip cost no matter why your travel plans change. Within a specific timeframe, CFAR coverage allows you to cancel your plans in case the COVID-19 situation in your host country changes or you no longer feel comfortable traveling abroad for any reason. The percentage of reimbursement depends on your unique policy but is normally between 50% to 75%. Please note that CFAR coverage typically ends about two days before your scheduled departure date!
With IFAR coverage, you can end your travel early for any reason and receive reimbursement. Like CFAR, IFAR usually reimburses between 50% to 75% of your costs, depending on your policy. Please note that IFAR coverage typically does not kick-in until two to three days after your departure!
To get CFAR or IFAR coverage, you have to enroll in your plan within a certain timeframe. Typically, this means you have about 14 to 21 days after your first non-refundable travel payment to enroll.
Given the uncertain state of international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend that all study abroad participants purchase trip insurance with CFAR coverage.
Questions for your Trip Insurance Provider
Make sure you understand the answers to the following questions before you financially commit to a trip insurance policy.
- What expenses can I/must I insure and how long do I have to insure them after I’m charged?
- What are covered reasons for cancellation/interruption? Does this policy cover cancellation/interruption due to illness? Is a positive COVID test considered an illness?
- How can I add nonrefundable costs to my coverage as I accumulate additional non-refundable costs?
- What special eligibility requirements do I have to meet to add cancel for any reason (CFAR) and/or interrupt for any reason (IFAR) coverage to my policy?
- Will costs related to a required quarantine be covered?
- Does this policy cover cancellation/interruption due to a required quarantine?
- Does this policy have a trip delay benefit that will pay for my accommodations if I am made to quarantine due to a positive COVID test or exposure to COVID? What is the maximum per day trip delay benefit? What is the total maximum trip delay benefit?
- Can the order to quarantine come from an immigration official or does it have to come from a medical professional? What documentation is required?
- If coverage for quarantine expenses are not typically covered in the plan, is there an additional coverage I can add to cover the costs of a quarantine?