I have a primary insurance policy through my family or personal coverage; do I still need to enroll in the supplemental travel insurance?
Yes, the supplemental insurance is designed to provide a standard amount for a suite of specific coverages above and beyond those in domestic insurance policies. This includes coverage for medical evacuation, bedside visit coverage, medical repatriation and repatriation. In addition, in many locations it provides a potential for direct billing via a guarantee of payment for emergency medical services.
I am enrolled in Ohio State’s Student Health Insurance (SHI) program; do I still need to enroll in the supplemental travel insurance?
Yes, these are two different sets of coverage. Students enrolled in the SHI are still required to be enrolled in the supplemental coverage while abroad for university related travel. (Note this does not apply if traveling for personal reasons, vacation or with family. It also does not apply for international students returning to their home country, unless they are doing so as part of an education abroad program, research or other purpose related to their academic career at Ohio State.)
Can I waive the enrollment in the supplemental coverage?
As a standard protocol, the supplemental coverage cannot be waived. The only exception is for those students who are traveling on a program that also has coverage via GeoBlue (formerly HTH Worldwide). If this is the case, you should still complete the Ohio State registration process. However you can submit a copy of the other GeoBlue coverage and Ohio State will not enroll you in the Ohio State supplemental policy, thus avoiding being double charged.
Can I enroll in only the supplemental coverage and waive my current primary coverage?
No; although enrollment in the supplemental coverage does not require the submission of proof of primary coverage it is designed as an addition, not a substitute for a primary policy. The supplemental policy does not provide domestic coverage, including pre-departure vaccinations or medicines, consultations with a domestic medical professional while abroad or health care upon return from abroad. It also will not meet the requirements for proof of coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
I am not studying abroad on an Ohio State managed program, is enrollment still required in the supplemental insurance?
Yes, if you are studying abroad and planning to use the credits towards your Ohio State degree, then enrollment is required.
I am not “studying abroad,” does the requirement still pertain to my international travel?
All Ohio State students traveling to international locations related to their academic or co-curricular career, including undergraduate or graduate independent research, dissertation work, departmentally registered internships, service projects or with a university-registered organization are required to enroll in the university’s supplemental international insurance. Personal travel, including spring break vacation or family travel is not subject to enrollment.
I am an international student traveling to my home country; does the requirement pertain to my travel?
International students at Ohio State who are traveling back to their home country for a university related reason (e.g a study abroad program; funded research; departmental internship, etc.) should enroll. If you are traveling home on a university break or for personal reasons, enrollment is not required.
How much does the supplemental insurance cost?
The current cost of the coverage is $1.50 per day. If you are traveling on an Office of International Affairs administered program, the cost of the insurance is calculated into the program fee. If you are traveling on an independent academic or co-curricular program you should enroll in the insurance and the cost will be billed to your student account.
Does the insurance cover my personal property?
No, the insurance is for health and safety purposes only. It does not include coverage for the loss, damage or theft of personal items. Travelers should check with any additional policies such as homeowners (including a parent’s policy if still a legal dependent) or renter’s insurance to verify if such coverage already exists. If not, they should consider purchasing an additional policy for this coverage.
Does the insurance cover the cancellation of a flight or other travel related expenses?
No, the insurance is for health and safety purposes only. It does not include coverage for the cancellation or delay of a flight, lost baggage or other travel related losses. If booking travel independently, travelers should explore an additional policy for this coverage.
Does the insurance cover a pre-travel medical consultation or recommended or required vaccinations?
No, the insurance does not cover pre-travel medical appointments or prescriptions, vaccinations or inoculations prior to travel. It is important to note that these should be obtained prior to travel. A traveler who does not opt to seek a prescription for an anti-malarial medication or a yellow fever vaccination until they are abroad will need to pay out-of-pocket or submit those expenses to their primary insurance for coverage.
Utilization of Coverage Questions
How can I find a hospital or medical professional abroad?
GeoBlue has a searchable directory (by country and city) of medical facilities and medical professionals abroad. The directory access requires enrollment in GeoBlue and creating a member account at https://www.geobluestudents.com. Travelers are encouraged to know their local resources for emergency care and personal health management prior to traveling abroad.
What is a Network Provider?
A Network Provider is a medical facility or professional with an established relationship at GeoBlue. They provide the potential for direct payment from the insurance for care received. This is arranged through a guarantee of payment. It is important to note that a guarantee of payment must still be arranged in advance of care and is subject to being accepted by the provider. In some cases a Network Provider may not accept a guarantee of payment for all services provided.
What if I am traveling to a location where there is no nearby hospital or medical professional listed; am I still covered?
Yes, subject to the terms and conditions of the plan, the insurance provides coverage of medical costs incurred abroad from non-listed medical facilities or providers. Travelers will be expected to pay for treatment out-of-pocket, save all receipts and documentation and file a claim for reimbursement with GeoBlue. If you are traveling to a location without a nearby hospital or medical professionals listed, you are encouraged to know in advance what the local options for medical care are in your location. Some travelers may find that local options for treatment might be limited, and will want to factor availability of care into their travel plans and selection process.
Can I make an immediate appointment?
The GeoBlue policy works like standard insurance and does not provide any preferred or immediate access to care. Travelers seeking assistance will still need to schedule an appointment subject to the availability of the medical facility or professional. For routine care an appointment may not be available on the same day and may conflict with planned activities. In other cases this can mean a visit to a local emergency room or urgent care facility and a subsequent wait in line for care. In an emergency, travelers should proceed directly to the nearest emergency room for care.
If I need to make a remote appointment or consultation with my home medical care professional, will it be covered by GeoBlue?
Students with preexisting conditions are encouraged to involve their current medical providers in their travel planning and health management. However the GeoBlue coverage is designed to cover health and medical appointments with non-U.S. providers during the dates of your travel abroad. While abroad, if you make a virtual appointment or consultation (e.g. Skype) with your home medical care professional, any charges associated with that care would be covered under your primary health insurance.
Does the insurance directly pay for all of medical costs abroad?
One of the advantages of the insurance is that it has a number of network providers that can accept direct payment for care of covered illness or injuries. To arrange for direct payment travelers must contact GeoBlue in advance of treatment to arrange a guarantee of payment with the medical facility or treating medical professional.
What if a guarantee of payment cannot be arranged or is not accepted?
Providing the GeoBlue card to a local medical facility or medical professional does not mean a guarantee of payment. In many locations, payment is expected upon treatment or admission. Therefore all travelers should have access to funds to cover routine medical care while abroad. In these instances travelers should retain itemized receipts and documentation to file for a reimbursement directly from GeoBlue.
Is there any deductible or copay?
One of the advantages to the plan is that there is a $0 deductible for covered expenses. Those travelers who have prearranged a guarantee of payment should need to expend no funds. Those travelers with out-of-pocket expenses can file for a full reimbursement of their expenses (subject to the terms of coverage and exclusions).
If I seek treatment for an injury or illness after my return, am I still covered by GeoBlue?
The GeoBlue coverage is designed to cover health and medical expenses during the dates of your travel abroad. Upon return from your travel, coverage of your health care expenses would be assumed by your primary insurance. The GeoBlue policy does include a limited Home Country Benefit that can assist in covering deductibles, copayments or other charges related to care after return from travel. However to receive this benefit, a case must be established prior to returning home. This usually includes visiting a local clinic or seeing a local doctor for a diagnosis and recommendation of treatment. If a medical appointment is not feasible given your schedule to return home, you should still contact GeoBlue, open a case and confirm if the Home Country Benefit will be available.
A GeoBlue claim form will need to be accompanied by any itemized receipts, provider bill and other documentation for service.
Receipts and documentation can be submitted via:
- The GeoBlue mPassport mobile app
- Claims Submission Fax: 1-610-482-9623
- Claims Submission Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Claims Submission Mail:
100 Matsonford Rd.
Attn: International Claims Dept.
One Radnor Corporate Center, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087 USA