As part of its overall insurance and benefits program, the University provides or makes available the following coverages:

  • Emergency Travel and Evacuation Assistance
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • General Liability
  • Commercial Auto Liability
  • Commercial Property and Business Income
  • Foreign Liability

The International Travel Risk Policy requires that all students possess health insurance and evacuation/emergency travel assistance coverage meeting minimum standards, described in the following sections. Faculty and staff are encouraged to review their coverage to ensure that it also meets these minimum standards.

Faculty and/or Staff

It is very important that you review your personal health insurance plan, as not all plans provide equal coverage overseas. Detailed information about your benefits can be found on the Human Resources website or you may contact the HR Service Center team at or call 617-353-2380. For questions on Worker’s Compensation benefits and how they may apply overseas you can go the Risk Management website or contact them at 617-353-3020.

Medical coverage overseas for BU employees who have either the PPO Plan or the Health Savings Plan is identical to the coverage at home, including the same deductibles, copayments and out of pocket maximums. The overseas coverage provided to you as part of your BU health plan is known as Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core. For inpatient care, BCBS Global Core can often arrange a guarantee of payment to the hospital, so that no direct payment to the hospital is necessary. Otherwise, travelers should use this claim form.

The plan also includes coverage for medical evacuation to the nearest location that can provide necessary treatment; repatriation is not covered by this plan.

  • For referrals to overseas providers, guarantees of payment, medical evacuation or other assistance of any kind: BCBS Global Core Service Center (24/7): 800-810-2583 (from U.S.) or 804-673-1177 (worldwide).

If your BU health insurance plan covers family members, that coverage will also apply abroad. If you are covered by a health insurance plan other than one of those offered by BU, verify that it covers emergency and urgent care at a minimum, and provides at least $100,000 in medical coverage.

Faculty and staff members leading groups of students are eligible to enroll in the same program available to students, through GeoBlue, an affiliate of BCBS. Faculty and staff members whose work abroad does not involve students but who seek supplemental coverage may enroll in an equivalent plan. Please contact Global Programs for more information.

If you are a Boston University faculty or staff member who is residing abroad for a period longer than 3 months, you should enroll in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Out-of-Country Plan.

In addition to medical evacuation service provided by BCBS Global Core as part of your BU health plan, all Boston University employees are automatically enrolled in emergency travel and evacuation assistance provided by ACE Executive Assistance Services, which provides:

  • pre-trip security and travel information
  • emergency medical, personal, legal, and travel services
  • emergency medical and political evacuation or repatriation
  • concierge services

This coverage is for employees only; family members traveling with employees are not covered. For more information on supplemental plans, please contact Global Programs

Note that the ACE program is not health insurance and therefore does not cover medical treatment. A summary of services can be found on the ACE Foldable Quick Card, which you should carry with you while traveling. Complete details on the services provided and how to access them can be found under Travel Assistance Services on the Risk Management website.

Boston University employees injured while traveling abroad on University business are also eligible for Workers Compensation benefits. Workers compensation is automatic for BU employees. See Risk Management for more details.


If you are a full-time student, Massachusetts law requires that you must be either enrolled in the Boston University Student Medical Insurance Plan or certify that you have personal health insurance that provides comparable, comprehensive health insurance abroad as well as domestically. Such plans should cover emergency and urgent care at a minimum, and provide at least $100,000 in medical coverage.

If you are a student on a BU Study Abroad program, medical coverage may also be provided, but varies depending on the location of your program. Please refer to Study Abroad—Health Insurance for a detailed description of coverage and services.

GeoBlue contracts with Boston University to offer a comprehensive international health insurance and evacuation/emergency travel assistance plan to BU students, faculty, and staff travel abroad for University purposes, at a reasonable price. Please contact Global Programs for more information.

To ensure compliance with Massachusetts law, international students are automatically enrolled in the Boston University Student Medical Insurance Plan. Students may opt-out of that plan only under very limited conditions. For more information, please visit the Student Accounting Services website on comparable coverage.

If you are a student on a BU Study Abroad program, you are covered for evacuation and travel assistance by GeoBlue. Additional information is available on the Study Abroad Health Insurance and Evacuation Coverage page.

Student travelers who are not on BU Study Abroad Programs must also possess evacuation/emergency travel assistance coverage. An evacuation/emergency travel assistance plan should provide you with coverage for emergency medical evacuation (including medically supervised evacuation), security (political and natural disaster) evacuation, and repatriation with a maximum of no less than $100,000 per insured.

U.S. health insurance plans typically do not include evacuation/emergency travel assistance coverage. The comprehensive plan offered by GeoBlue (see above) includes evacuation/emergency travel assistance coverage.

If you are enrolled in the BU Student Medical Insurance Plan (whether or not you are on a BU Study Abroad program), you also have coverage for evacuation and emergency travel assistance through Aetna/OnCall Travel Assistance Services. A complete description of the services provided can be found at Aetna/OnCall.

Purchase or Lease of Space or Vehicles

A lease, as a rough guide, is a contractual agreement for use of a space that will run longer than a year, and is usually several years long. If you intend to purchase or lease space, you should:

Any vehicle purchased or leased internationally is required to have its primary insurance coverage purchased locally. If you intend to purchase or lease a vehicle, you should work with a local insurance agent to:

  • Properly register the vehicle in that location in accordance with local regulations
  • Purchase the minimum liability limits mandated in that location
    • The University’s foreign automobile insurance program provides excess liability limits over those purchased locally.
  • Include insurance covering physical damage to the vehicle

Vehicle rental: Review the Foreign Locations section under Automobile Rental Procedures on the Risk Management website, which provides guidelines and advice for renting a vehicle to conduct Boston University business.

Changes to Ongoing Activities

You should contact Risk Management when changes occur that may impact your insurance in order to avoid a gap or lapse in coverage. Examples of such changes include major property purchases such as moveable capital equipment and vehicles.


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Scott Strothers
Aetna Student Health
1 Charles Park
Cambridge, MA 02142
(860) 907-4674