Health & Insurance
Preparation is key to staying healthy while traveling. Please refer to the information and resources listed below for preliminary guidance and follow up with a travel medicine provider prior to traveling.
The International Travel Risk Policy requires that all students possess health insurance and evacuation/emergency travel assistance coverage meeting minimum standards. Faculty and staff are strongly advised to verify their coverage prior to travel.
Faculty and Staff
It is very important that you review your personal health insurance plan, as not all plans provide equal coverage overseas. If you carry a health insurance plan other than those offered by BU, verify that it covers emergency and urgent care, and provides at least $100,000 in medical coverage.
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, and coverage for family members. The overseas coverage provided to you as part of your BU health plan is known as Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core. Detailed information about your benefits can be found on the Human Resources website. For questions on Worker’s Compensation benefits overseas, you can go the Risk Management website.
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).
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.
Evacuation and Emergency Travel Assistance
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/Chubb 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.
Please be aware that the Chubb program is not health insurance and therefore does not cover medical treatment. A summary of services can be found on the Chubb 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.
GeoBlue contracts with Boston University to offer a comprehensive international health insurance and evacuation/emergency travel assistance plan to BU students, faculty, and staff who travel abroad for University purposes, at a reasonable price. Please contact Global Programs for more information.
If you are a student on a BU Study Abroad program, medical coverage is usually provided as part of the program fee, but coverage varies depending on the location of your program. Please refer to Study Abroad Insurance page for a description of coverage and services.
Evacuation and Emergency Travel Assistance
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.
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.
Wellness Checks and Immunizations
The Travel Clinic at Boston Medical Center, as well as numerous other travel clinics in the Boston area, provides both pre- and post-travel medical services, including:
- advice and counseling on disease prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment
- advice on special issues such as medical care abroad, altitude sickness, and jet lag
- itinerary-specific immunizations
Please be sure to make an appointment four or more weeks in advance of travel.
Traveling with Medication
Several common U.S. medications are illegal in other countries. Be aware of your destination’s restrictions on medications. Common restrictions include:
- Narcotics and psychotropic medications (e.g. Adderall and Ambien)
- Hormone medications (e.g. birth control pills, hormone therapy medication)
- Certain ingredients (e.g. diphenhydramine HCI, found in Tylenol PM) or quantities
The U.S. embassy website of your destination country should provide information on the legality of most medications. If any of your medications are on the list of restricted items, talk with your health care providers about possible alternatives that are legally permitted and readily available at your destination.
- required and recommended vaccinations and other health precautions
- information about infectious diseases abroad
- information about travel medicine providers in other locations