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Insurance and Study Abroad - What You Need to Know!

Coverage AU Provides

The health and well-being of AU students while abroad is of utmost concern to AU. Planning and preparing for healthcare is essential, and is somewhat different than here in the US.  AU provides emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance when you study abroad on an AU approved program. This policy will cover emergency medical situations but not routine medical care such as physicals and non-emergency medical assistance. This policy will ONLY cover you during the duration of the program and in the country of study. It will NOT cover you if you arrive early and stay after the program end date. It will also NOT cover you when you are outside of the host country on personal travel.

Full details on this plan can be found on the Summary of Benefits – Students and the Summary of Travel Assistance Program page and ID card.

The cost for this insurance is included in the program fee that AU Abroad charges all students when they study abroad.

Please note that when receiving medical treatment abroad, it is likely that you will be expected to pay in full at the time of service, often in cash. If you will seek reimbursement from the insurance carrier for this treatment, remember to secure translated, itemized receipts and/or descriptions of the treatment you received.

Additionally, AU carries insurance in the event your program is suspended due to natural disaster, political unrest, and/or terrorist attacks. Please note that this insurance is valid only to the extent that you comply with all policies and procedures of your study abroad program. It will ONLY cover you during the duration of the program and in the country of study. It will NOT cover you if you arrive early and stay after the program end date. It will also NOT cover you when you are outside of the host country on personal travel. Please note that this policy does not provide for tuition reimbursement in the event of an insured loss.

Country and Program Specific Insurance

Some countries, such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Italy, and New Zealand, have universal health care and may charge you a mandatory health care fee. In addition, some study abroad organizations with which AU has partnered, including but not limited to DIS, American Councils, IES, CET, Amideast, IFSA-Butler, Bard, Boston University, Carleton and others, include health insurance. Please be sure to review the terms of this coverage to determine if it will provide you with adequate benefits, especially if you plan to travel outside of your host country.

Insurance Coverage in the United States

Please keep in mind that the emergency medical insurance will NOT cover you in the US, so you should also maintain your US-based health insurance. You may elect to participate in AU Health Insurance or may use a personal insurance provider. You will be automatically registered for AU health insurance, UNLESS you WAIVE the AU coverage.

Considerations for supplemental insurance

AU highly recommends that you purchase additional insurance to cover you if you decide to travel outside of the host country on personal travel and/or decide to arrive before the program start date and/or depart after the program end date.

You will want to consider the following when purchasing additional policies:

  • General Medical Insurance coverage
  • Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Limits and Procedures
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Duration of coverage
  • Dollar Limit of Policy, per incident and in total
  • The Premium
  • Policy Exclusions
  • Coverage for Accidents, including those involving drug and alcohol use
  • Dental Benefits
  • Mental Health Benefits, including counseling services
  • Coverage for Pre-existing conditions
  • Terms to file a claim, i.e., will you have to pay up front and get reimbursed?
  • Related benefits, including 24 hour medical assistance, doctor referrals, bedside visit expenses
  • Coverage for the location you have chosen, and the activities you choose to participate in
  • Explanation/Limitation on Permissible Facilities for Services.

Although AU doesn't recommend or offer a specific plan, the following are a list of reputable study abroad insurance providers:

Should you choose to purchase a secondary insurance plan for coverage overseas, keep in mind that it won't cover you in the US, so you should also maintain your US-based health insurance.

Other Insurance

There are several other types of insurance that you should consider while you are abroad. As study abroad becomes more of a standard experience for students in the US, insurance products can be found through a variety of sources. You may find optional insurance coverage through the health insurance policies listed above. You may find property protection through your parents' homeowner's policy. You may be offered the opportunity to purchase insurance when you book your flight.

Additional insurance for you to consider:

  • Trip Cancellation/Lost Baggage: This is typically offered when you book your flight.
  • Lost or Stolen Personal Property: If you plan on taking digital equipment and/or a laptop, notebook, or pda, you will want to insure such high value items against loss or theft. Check with your parents' homeowner's policy to determine if you have coverage or have the option of purchasing additional coverage. Some premium study abroad policies may also offer such an option, as do some trip cancellation policies.
  • Tuition Insurance: The AU tuition insurance plan to cover your lost tuition due to sickness or injury is available to you while you study abroad on an AU approved program. This insurance is particularly important if you receive financial aid in support of your studies.