University of Michigan-Flint

University of Michigan-Flint News

University to Offer Health Insurance to International Travelers

  • March 31st, 2009 By: UM-Flint News

The Skinny

Effective January 1, 2008, a new health insurance plan—University of Michigan HTH Worldwide Travel Abroad Health Insurance—will be required for all undergraduate students and selected other students participating in University for-credit or administered programs outside of the United States. This applies to students of all three U-M campuses.
Information from U-M University Record

Effective January 1, 2008, a new health insurance plan—University of Michigan HTH Worldwide Travel Abroad Health Insurance—will be required for all undergraduate students and selected other students participating in University for-credit or administered programs outside of the United States. This applies to students of all three U-M campuses.

HTH Worldwide (HTH), also the travel abroad health insurance vendor for Michigan State University, is a nationally known product leader, says Robert Winfield, the University’s chief health officer and director of the University Health Service. “The program was created in response to an awareness that some of our students were traveling abroad with no or inadequate health insurance, and we felt obliged, as a university, to address this gap,” says Winfield.

p;The new plan will be required for all undergraduates participating in U-M/UM-Flint education abroad programs (study/research/work/volunteer, etc.) for which in-residence credit is granted or which U-M/UM-Flint departments organize. Insurance premiums will be included in the respective program fees.

Guidelines for University of Michigan-Flint Campus:

(Students in the required category may not waive out of this insurance)

  1. All undergraduates participating in any international endeavor, or UM-Flint education abroad programs (study/work/volunteer) for which in-residence credit is granted (Insurance premiums will be included in the program fee)
  2. All International and Global Studies (IGS)-sponsored program participants, at the undergraduate and graduate level. (premiums will be included in the program fee)
  3. All students participating in any non-UM-Flint travel abroad program. These students will register and purchase the insurance through the UM International Travel Information and Registry https://mail.umflint.edu/exchweb/bin/auth/owalogon.asp?url=https://mail.umflint.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp%3FURL=http://www.umich.edu/~ITOC&reason=0

The Travel Abroad Health Insurance program has an oversight committee co-chaired by Karen Klever, managed care and student insurance manager with the University Health Service, and William Nolting, international opportunities program director with the International Center along with representatives for a variety of study abroad programs and administrators from the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses.

According to Nolting, the new travel abroad health insurance policy fills a major gap in University-sponsored insurance for the more than 2,500 students traveling abroad for purposes related to their degree studies—studying, research, internships, volunteering or working abroad. “They will be able to purchase coverage, including emergency assistance abroad, superior to that available to students at other peer universities, yet which is low in cost. As an additional benefit, students, staff, faculty and their dependents will also be able to purchase this insurance for leisure travel abroad.” Nolting says.

The new plan will also be required for all graduate students participating in Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Grant (MHIRT) and selected Ford School of Public Policy programs, with premiums included in program fees. Other graduate and professional Schools are considering requiring it for participants in their education-abroad programs.

Each dean has the option of requiring select graduate student travel abroad programs to purchase the travel abroad health insurance plan. However, if a program is so designated, all participants must be covered by the HTH plan. The Office of Risk Management has indicated any waivers would significantly increase U-M’s liability. Insurance premiums will be included in the program fee.

HTH insurance is also available for optional purchase for University or personal leisure travel abroad by other current students, active employees, their spouses, domestic partners or other qualified adults, and dependents. They will register and purchase the insurance through the University’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) Web site: www.umich.edu/~itoc.

Active faculty and staff members traveling on official University of Michigan business (excluding vacations and everyday travel to and from work) will continue to be covered by the University’s Travel Accident Insurance and Secure Travel programs, which provide travel services anytime travelers are more than 100 or more miles from home. Information can be located at the Benefits Office web site at: www.umich.edu/~benefits/plans/travelacc.

The current HTH insurance premium is $35.00 per month for the first month and $30.00 a month thereafter for all travelers. Note that the plan can be purchased for a minimum of two days at a $1.00 per day plus the $5.00 administrative charge. Optional participants may purchase the plan directly from the company when registering their trip on the ITOC Web site.

The plan provides health coverage abroad for treatment of a range of urgent and emergent conditions that might occur while traveling abroad, including but not limited to:

  • Emergency advice and referral
  • Physician Office Visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Physical or Mental Health Emergency Care
  • Ambulance Service
  • Inpatient Hospitalizations
  • Medical evacuations

Winfield says that participants should continue whatever current health insurance coverage they may have in the U.S. as HTH Worldwide Insurance coverage upon return to the United States following an injury or illness treated abroad is extremely limited.

UM Travel Information and Registry:

· Register your trip and buy the plan (optional purchase)

· Use links for your campus:

o UM-Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses www.umich.edu/~itoc

o
UM-Flint campus https://mail.umflint.edu/exchweb/bin/auth/owalogon.asp?url=https://mail.umflint.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp%3FURL=http://www.umich.edu/~ITOC&reason=0

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