Insurance protects employees, students, property, and revenue. As part of its overall insurance and benefits program, the University provides employees, faculty, and students conducting international activities with coverage for:

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

In some instances, such as emergency travel assistance and evacuation coverage for students, you will be required to arrange for appropriate coverage by following the procedures outlined below. Additional insurance requirements may vary based on location, due to local requirements and the type of international activity conducted.

You are also strongly encouraged to inform Global Programs and the Dean of Students prior to student travel through BU programs. This helps ensure a more systematic and coordinated effort in case of an emergency.

Faculty and/or Staff

Health Insurance

It is very important that you review your personal health insurance plan, as not all plans provide equal coverage overseas. Detailed information about health insurance, disability coverage, and workers’ compensation can be found on the Human Resources and Risk Management websites.

Overseas Residents

Boston University faculty and staff members who are resident overseas for a period longer than 3 months should enroll in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Out-of-Country Plan.

Emergency Travel and Evacuation Assistance

You are automatically enrolled for 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

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 should be carried 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.

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation

You are automatically entitled to medical, hospital, disability compensation, rehabilitation, and death benefits to be paid in the event of injury or death due to work-related accidents or illnesses.


Health Insurance

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.

If you are a student on a BU Study Abroad program, additional coverage is also 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.

Medical Insurance for International Students at Boston University

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.

Emergency Travel and Evacuation Assistance

If you are a student on a BU Study Abroad program, you are covered for evacuation and travel assistance by the Team Assist Plan through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). Additional information is available on the Study Abroad—Travel Assistance page.

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.

OnCall coverage is also available for purchase by students participating in non-Study Abroad programs overseas. For academic year 2013/14, the premium cost is $36 per student/semester. Students must be enrolled by a departmental or college administrator as part of a group purchase. A group bill for all enrolled students will be sent to the department for payment. Administrators wanting to enroll students should contact Scott Strothers at Aetna Student Health, 781-293-5617 or

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