Medical Insurance and CISI
U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
That is why the University of Wisconsin System has mandated that all University of Wisconsin students studying/traveling abroad under a UW sponsored program must enroll in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).
In addition, certain countries require that foreign students participating in study abroad programs purchase health insurance in their country; it is your responsibility to make sure that such a requirement is in effect for their study abroad program. Please check with the Study Abroad office that manages your program if you are not sure.
Coverage duration varies by program location and term, but generally will start a day or two before the official program start date and terminate within a few days of the program's conclusion. Participants may extend their coverage (if you continue to travel after the academic program ends) by contacting Cultural Insurance Services International directly at (203) 399-5130 or through their CISI portal.
Insurance for Personal Property
You may want to consider having insurance to cover damage or theft of personal property which you take with you abroad. Although occurrences are rare, you may encounter personal property loss due to a fire or other incident in your local residence overseas.
Insurance company policies vary widely on the circumstances and amount of coverage for personal property abroad. In some instances, your parents' homeowner's policy or your own renter's insurance policy is enough to provide limited coverage. In other cases, a special policy must be purchased.
Check with your insurance company, or contact any insurance company which provides home or renter's insurance to learn more about the extent of coverage possible for personal property that you take with you abroad.