Insurance for International Travel
If I am on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored program, do I have insurance for medical and emergency services while studying abroad?
YES - but only during your official program dates! UW System requires all participants on UW Oshkosh-sponsored programs abroad to purchase insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This insurance is included in your study abroad program fees; your coverage will begin on the first day on which you are required to be in the host country and end on or just after the last day on which you are required to be in the host country.
In addition to CISI, all students studying through an Australian, German or New Zealand university are required by the foreign government to carry additional health insurance. You will receive instructions and the necessary paperwork to obtain your insurance card at your host university’s orientation.
- Students studying in Australia must purchase "Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
- Students studying in Germany and New Zealand must purchase health insurance offered through individual universities.
What does CISI cover?
CISI coverage can change from policy year to policy year. All benefits are clearly explained on the Description of Coverage. If your program begins
- on or after August 1, 2012-May 1, 2013: http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/CISIpolicy20122013.pdf
on or after May 1, 2013 - April 30, 2014: http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/CISIpolicy20132014.pdf
Additional Comprehensive Security Evacuation Insurance is outlined on a separate Description of Coverage, available from http://culturalinsurance.com/pdf/security_evac_comprehensive_ace.pdf.
How do I access information about my CISI coverage and print my insurance card?
Instructions on accessing information and printing your insurance card, among other things, are available from http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/myCISI.pdf.
In addition, use the CISI Participant Portal to
- View, print and email your
- Consulate letter (if you are applying for a visa to enter a foreign country, you may need this),
- Claim form (submit this directly to CISI)
- Access travel-related sites.
- Research country specific information.
- Access a personal security assistance website.
- Extend your coverage (prior to or following your program dates).
I will arrive abroad prior to my official program start date and/or will return after my official program end date. Do I need to extend my insurance coverage if I'm on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored program?
YES! If you don't extend your insurance coverage, you won't be covered. Follow the instructions available from http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/myCISI.pdf to extend your coverage. You must pay for the additional coverage directly at the time that you request the extension.
Can I use my personal health insurance plan without purchasing additional insurance for travel abroad?
If studying on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored Program, no. UW System does not allow for the exemption of any participant for any reason.
If you are studying through a program not sponsored by or affiliated with UW Oshkosh, sickness and accident coverage while in a foreign country may be included in your personal health insurance plan, but it is rare for personal health insurance plans to cover medical evacuation, security evacuation, repatriation or emergency medical reunion. BEFORE you travel you should be familiar with the type of coverage you have and the steps you need to take in order to use your policy abroad. If you are not satisfied that you have sufficient coverage abroad, you can purchase a temporary policy.
My insurance company requires me to be a full-time student in order to take advantage of a lower premium. Will study abroad affect my ability to keep this premium?
Your insurance company may require you to be a full-time student in order to take advantage of lower premiums. IF you are NOT enrolled in classes at UW Oshkosh for a full semester (i.e. you are transferring credits back to UW Oshkosh at the end of your study abroad program), AND you are NOT enrolled for full-time credit through another accredited U.S. institution, this may affect your premiums. Information on your enrollment status is automatically extracted from UW Oshkosh records and sent to a Clearinghouse, which many insurance companies monitor. You will show up in the Clearinghouse as “not enrolled” at UW Oshkosh IF you are not enrolled for courses AT UW OSHKOSH, and your premiums may be affected.
In order to avoid problems, contact your insurance company BEFORE leaving for your study abroad destination. Your insurance company will either give you a form or a list of information which they need. You can fax this form/list to the institution abroad for verification of full-time status while studying there.
Please note that if you are on Academic Leave of Absence, you are being reported by UW Oshkosh as "not enrolled."
What are some insurance supplements or alternatives?
At $22, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is a popular option for students. The ISIC can be purchased on line; policy details are available from the link above. To call STA Travel: 1-800-329-9537 (menu option “Student, youth and teacher identity cards”). A second option is to search on the internet or contact your local travel agent. There are many other insurance companies that will cover you during your time abroad.
What are medical evacuation, security evacuation, repatriation and medical reunion?
Medical evacuation, security evacuation and repatriation benefits cover the insured when the insured is moved to a location outside of the host country or returned to the U.S. because a medical condition cannot be treated locally, because of a security risk at the site abroad or because of the death of the insured. Medical reunion benefits cover a family member who travels to the location where the insured is undergoing medical treatment. If you have medical reunion, identify one or more family members who have a valid passport as your emergency contact. Anyone not holding a valid passport will need to apply for one before being able to take advantage of emergency medical reunion.
Is the insurance offered through CISI sufficient?
CISI insurance is not comprehensive. It is each participant's responsibility to review the policy for sufficient coverage. If you feel that coverage is insufficient, purchase additional coverage through your insurance agent. Do not cancel your health insurance policy in the U.S. while you are gone. In most cases, your international policy will cover you while you are gone and/or bring you back to the U.S., but once you return, your domestic policy will need to provide coverage.
Do I need trip cancellation insurance or baggage insurance?
Because the UW Oshkosh OIE runs all programs on a cost-recovery basis, it is not possible to make exceptions to the withdrawal and refund policy for any reason, including withdrawal for medical reasons or family emergencies. To protect yourself, reach through the CISI insurance policy provided through UW System and then consider purchasing TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE to cover other potential eventualities. If you choose not to purchase trip cancellation insurance and the CISI policy does not cover your withdrawal, study abroad fees assessed by the OIE will be your responsibility regardless of your reason for withdrawing. Trip cancellation insurance may provide reimbursement for CERTAIN financial losses UNDER A LIMITED SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES. Read policies carefully and shop around. Not all policies cover pre-existing conditions.
Baggage insurance typically provides coverage related to lost or delayed luggage. Because there are fairly low limits on the claims you can make, you may also need to purchase insurance riders through your home insurance policy to cover items such as digital cameras or other expensive equipment.
This page was last updated on: April 22, 2013