Blue Cross Blue Shield hospital/specialty coverage highlights:
- Inpatient hospitalization (medically necessary)
- Mental health visits*
- Obstetrics/gynecology visits
- Outpatient diagnostic/specialty visits*
- Physical/occupational therapy visits*
- Surgery (medically necessary)
- Urgent care*
*Visit limits may apply
NOTE: You may need to pay for services at the time you receive care and file for reimbursement later. International claims form, filing, and payment information are available at Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core. You should request itemized receipts and medical records (when applicable) for any care that you receive.
Make an appointment to see your health care provider before you travel. Many countries recommend or require travel vaccinations that need to be administered up to one month before you depart in order to be effective. Please note that travel immunizations are not covered by HUSHP.
Some countries require that you obtain verification from your health insurance carrier that you are covered while traveling abroad for an extended period of time. To request verification, please contact the HUSHP Member Services at (617) 495-2008 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow two business days for all requests.
Other Travel Resources
- CDC Traveler's health page
- World Health Organization on international travel
- U.S. Department of State on travel
- Harvard Travel Assist
finding a provider or hospital while abroad
Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue (BCBS) Global Core Service Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will help you find a BlueCard Global Core hospital or doctor. Visit Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core or call 1(800) 810-2583 or 1 (804) 673-1177 (collect from outside the U.S.) for information on hospitals and doctors throughout the world. You will need your BCBS identification card when you contact BCBS.
The University offers worldwide emergency medical care and security evacuation services through Harvard Travel Assist. Visit the Harvard Travel Assist website or call or call (617) 998-0000 for more information. Please note that Harvard Travel Assist is not a health insurance policy.
Prescription Drug Coverage
Student Health Insurance Plan members are covered for prescription medications purchased outside of the United States. A prescription drug claim form must be submitted for reimbursement.
Most countries require that the prescribing doctor be licensed in that country before a prescription can be filled. If you take a prescription drug, contact your doctor and have your prescription written for the number of months you need filled while traveling outside of the country.
Complete the prescription Travel Override Worksheet and return it to Member Services with a copy of an official travel itinerary (i.e., e-tickets). This must be done at least three business days before you need to pick up your prescription. If you purchase a prescription while abroad, you can file for reimbursement through OptumRx; you will be reimbursed at 100% of the cost minus the tier 2 copayment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is emergency evacuation and repatriation covered?
A: The Student Health Insurance Plan does not cover evacuation or repatriation; however, the University offers worldwide emergency medical care and security evacuation services through Harvard Travel Assist (617) 998-0000. Please note that Harvard Travel Assist is not a health insurance policy.
Q: Will I have to pay out of pocket for medical services?
A: Most countries do not bill international health insurance carriers so you may have to pay out of pocket and then file for reimbursement; however, there are some hospitals around the world that will work with BCBS Global Core rather than making the member pay up front. For more information contact BCBS Worldwide at 1 (800) 810-2583 or 1 (804) 673-1177 (collect from outside the U.S.).
Q: What do I need in order to file for reimbursement?
A: You will need to submit itemized receipts with an international claim form to BCBS Global Core. If you become hospitalized, please obtain a copy of your medical records at the time of your discharge. You do not need to have the currency or medical records translated.
Q: Are prescriptions covered?
A: Yes, prescriptions are covered. You can file for reimbursement through OptumRx for most prescriptions purchased abroad. You will need a detailed itemized claim receipt. Review the Plan Ahead section to learn how to fill prescriptions before you go.
Q: How long do I have to file for reimbursement for medical claims or prescriptions?
A: You have two years from the date of service to file for reimbursement for medical claims, and one year from the date of purchase to file for prescription claims.
Q: Do I need an insurance ID card when traveling?
A: Yes, you should always carry your insurance ID card with you. If you need a replacement ID card, please contact HUSHP Member Services at (617) 495-2008. ID cards can take 7-10 business days for delivery.
Q: What if I need emergency medical care?
A: Go to the nearest hospital.
Q: What if I am admitted to a hospital or require scheduled surgery?
A: Call the BlueCard Global Core Service Center collect at 1 (804) 673-1177 as most inpatient admissions and some surgeries require prior authorization.
Q: What is the coverage for services incurred in a “disaster” country (e.g., terrorism/war) under the Student Health Insurance Plan?
A: No services that are covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan are actually excluded, but access to those services might be delayed. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is not liable if events beyond its control—such as war, riot, public health emergency, or natural disaster—cause delay or failure of BCBS to arrange for or coordinate access to health care services and coverage for members. BCBS will make a good faith effort to arrange for or coordinate health care services to be furnished in these situations.
Q: What is the coverage for services incurred in a country that has sanctions imposed on them by the United States?
A: Although BCBS will not directly send funds to a country sanctioned by the United States, they will reimburse the member for those services as long as the member’s address listed on the reimbursement form is in the U.S.
Q: Does the plan include coverage for medical services received from injuries incurred during participation in extreme sports (e.g., mountain climbing)?
A: Yes, the Student Health Insurance Plan includes coverage for medical services received for the reasons cited above.
Q: What if I am not enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan?
A: If you are not enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, you must check with your non-Harvard insurance to determine the extent of your coverage while traveling.