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SHP Abroad

Health Insurance While Abroad

During Cornell-affiliated Travel

Students from the Ithaca and NYC Tech campuses with SHP coverage traveling on Cornell-affiliated travel have access to two separate plans while abroad, and it’s important to understand the difference between coverages.

Notice of Caution: If you are studying abroad and your sponsor university requires you to purchase a health insurance plan, this plan may not provide comprehensive coverage in the country you are studying in. Additionally, if you travel outside the country you are studying in, it may not provide coverage there either. However, if you are enrolled in Cornell’s Student Health Plan (SHP), it provides comprehensive health insurance coverage anywhere in the U.S. and abroad.

Routine Care and Pre-existing Conditions

Your SHP plan covers routine care (e.g., wellness, preventative care, physical exams, gynecological exams) as well as urgent and emergent medical care and mental health needs, substance abuse expenses, and more.

  • You will have to pay for care in full at the time the service is provided, and then submit a claim for reimbursement. Be sure to receive an itemized bill and a receipt, including the date of service, diagnosis, and the dollar amount for the visit.
  • You may then submit a claim for reimbursement to Aetna Student Health.
  • For benefits covered by SHP, your cost-share will be at the In-Network provider rate (see your Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Certificate of Coverage for details).
  • Prior authorizations are not needed to receive health care outside of the U.S.
  • Aetna will reimburse you for charges for covered benefits according to the participating provider care benefit level, minus any applicable co-payments, and will mail you a check directly.
  • To contact the Aetna Student Health Claims Administrators when you are outside of the United States, please call 617-218-8400 (collect calls are accepted).
Important: If you have a pre-existing condition that will require medical attention while abroad, plan well in advance to ensure you 1) will have adequate access to the necessary treatment; and 2) understand pre-pay requirements and out-of-pocket costs. 

Urgent and Emergent Health Treatment

Cornell’s accident, sickness, and emergency care insurance plan under Zurich is coordinated by International SOS to facilitate seamless emergency support for Cornell travelers.

  • All registered travelers on Cornell-related international travel are fully covered – at no cost to the traveler. You must register your Cornell-affiliated travel with Cornell's Travel Registry to qualify for international travel insurance.
  • Assistance services and insurance benefits are initiated by calling International SOS at +1 215-942-8478 or via the ISOS Assistance App (reference 11BSCA827281).
  • This policy does not cover preventative or routine care, or treatment of pre-existing conditions. Please see the Global Cornell Travel Insurance page for full details.

During Personal or Recreational Travel Outside the U.S.

  • Students with SHP coverage traveling on personal or recreational travel outside the U.S. will be covered as outlined above, however, students should secure their own travel assistance plan to find a doctor or health care facility; or for assistance with medical evacuations or guarantees of payment applicable to their travel location.
  • Some travel assistance plans may offer primary coverage. Gallagher Student Health provides some options for travel assistance plans.