Most health insurance companies give members some coverage abroad. The only way to know exactly what is and is not covered, however, is to ask your provider.
For example, Cornell's New York State (Contract College) health plans differ from Cornell Ithaca (Endowed)/Cornell NYC Tech health plans. Cornell's endowed health insurance plan provides enhanced coverage for international travel.
Consult with your HR representative and medical insurance provider prior to international travel to review your existing coverage and benefit capabilities in the country to which you will be traveling.
Medical care abroad usually requires cash or credit card payment at the point of service, regardless of whether the traveler has insurance coverage in their home country. This could result in a large out-of-pocket expenditure. Additionally, the existence of nationalized health care services in a given destination does not ensure that nonresidents will be given full coverage. When paying out-of-pocket for care, obtain copies of all bills and receipts of all health care related expenses.
For Non-Cornell Travel Abroad. There are no insurance coverage mandates for travelers who are not traveling on Cornell business. The following information is provided for educational purposes only. In addition to health insurance mentioned above, it is suggested that you have insurance that covers medical evacuation, security evacuation, and repatriation (return of remains). Cornell's vendor for emergency services may provide this insurance at a discount to Cornellians on non-Cornell or independent trips. Contact the Office of Risk Management and Insurance for instructions. If you prefer to comparison shop, you may wish to visit www.insuremytrip.com for a variety of insurance products and services. Some questions you might want to ask regarding new or existing insurance include:
- If I am hospitalized in my destination country, will I have to pay up front and be reimbursed by my insurance, or will that facility submit a claim to my insurance company?
- If I must pay in advance for medical services, what type of payment will that provider require? Will they take a credit card payment or will someone have to wire money to make payment?
- How does my travel insurance handle/define a pre-existing condition?