The University of Iowa mandates international health insurance for all UI students traveling abroad for educational purposes—studying abroad, interning, conducting research, performing a rotation, presenting at a conference, or any other educationally-related activity abroad. This “blanket” insurance coverage is provided through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). The Iowa Regents Universities policy number is 12 GLM N04965085. The cost is $1.15 per day. Main features include the following:
|Medical Expense||$500,000 per accident or sickness|
|Pre-existing Conditions Coverage||$100,000|
|Mental & Nervous Illness (per lifetime)||$20,000 inpatient; $10,000 outpatient|
|Prescription Drugs (in/outpatient)||100% of eligible expenses|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||100% of covered expenses|
|Security Evacuation (natural disaster/political unrest)||$100,000|
|Repatriation of Remains||100% of covered expenses|
|24-7 Team Assist emergency assistance services||Call 1-240-330-1520|
Registration & Billing Process
For UI students participating in UI study abroad programs & registered in a 165/ABRD course: The cost of the insurance may be included in the program fee or billed to you separately on your U-bill. Check with your study abroad advisor for details. Either way, enrollment in the insurance will happen automatically and coverage dates will correspond to the program dates.
For UI students participating in non-UI study abroad programs & registered in a 165:500/ABRD 3500 course: The cost of the insurance will be added as a charge on your U-bill. The dates of coverage will coincide with the start & end dates for your program as reported on the Study Abroad Credit Approval Form.
For UI students traveling abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa for something other than a credit-bearing study abroad program: All students in this category, including graduate & professional students, must complete a Student Travel Abroad Registration Form. Your travel plans will be added to the UI Travel Registry and this will allow for your subsequent enrollment in the Iowa Regents CISI insurance policy for the period of time indicated on the form. The cost of the insurance will be charged to your U-bill. Depending on the purpose of your travel abroad, additional forms or procedures may be required. Check the Travel Registry section of the Study Abroad web page for additional guidance.
Domestic Health Insurance Plans
Domestic insurance plans can be very difficult to use overseas and typically do not cover things like medical evacuations—hence the need for the UI to secure adequate travel insurance coverage for UI students. (Note that the CISI travel insurance provides primary health insurance while you’re abroad.) Despite the drawbacks of domestic coverage abroad, do not let your regular insurance coverage lapse while you are out of the country since any medical condition which might develop while abroad could be considered a “pre-existing condition” when you apply for health insurance upon your return to the U.S.
We recognize that in some cases students will end up with double coverage while they’re abroad. Since types of coverage and levels of benefits vary so dramatically, the University of Iowa has determined that coverage under the Iowa Regents policy should extend to ALL UI students studying abroad, and students participating in any other activities abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. This ensures a standard level of coverage for all so predictable levels of support can be accessed if needed during any emergency response. A student participating on an external non-Iowa program may be required by the program provider to enroll in a separate insurance policy that provider will consider primary coverage while abroad. The Iowa Regents CISI policy will still remain in effect and will not be waived under any circumstances. On rare occasions, an external program provider may waive their policy coverage if they consider the Iowa Regents CISI policy to be sufficient. Please note that comparing the provisions of two policies rarely leads to the unilateral conclusion that one is "stronger" than the other in all areas, so double coverage is often the norm for students studying abroad on external programs.
Extension of Coverage for Personal Travel
Your Iowa Regents CISI insurance coverage dates will correspond to the study abroad dates of your program. If you will participate in two programs or sessions abroad, we strongly encourage you to contact CISI to seek a separate coverage policy for the interim period.
Students who choose to travel independently immediately before or after their study abroad program may also purchase a separate coverage plan directly from CISI through the CISI student portal. The online portal works especially well for setting up coverage for an extended stay abroad after your program ends. If you are trying to set up separate coverage for time you will spend abroad immediately before your program starts, the timing may mean that your enrollment in the Iowa Regents CISI policy has not be fully processed yet. If that is the case then the online CISI portal won't be available to you yet, but you can still call CISI directly for help setting up a separate coverage plan for the days you are abroad prior to your program start.
Travel abroad exclusively for personal reasons is not covered under the Iowa Regents CISI policy. Students traveling abroad for personal reasons are encouraged to purchase independent travel insurance. CISI's sister company, Caremed Insurance, offers this type of individual coverage. Please see www.caremed-travelinsurance.com for more information.
If you have questions about insurance coverage or enrollment that are not addressed above, please contact us.