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Health Insurance Coverage While Abroad


If you have health insurance, then you do theoretically have some degree of out-of-network coverage for international expenses incurred. However, you will have the same issues you have for any out-of-network expenses; you may need to pay your expenses up-front, and then submit them to your insurance company upon your return, and non-allowable expenses will not be covered. Depending on your provider, there may be additional restrictions. University of Kentucky health plans do not cover non-emergent (“emergent” is defined as life- or limb-threatening) health claims when the policy-holder is traveling outside the U.S.

UK has an employee-based travel assistance plan that is not connected to health insurance. It is called Executive Assistance, and offers help to travelers on UK business, in some emergency situations (for example, referrals to physicians). In addition, it offers evacuation in the case of a political crisis, as well as assistance with replacement of lost documents and other emergencies. This service is available to UK employees traveling on UK business, regardless of their health insurance plan. Again, this is an assistance service for crises, but is not a medical insurance policy. You should carry your Executive Assistance card with you as well, when you travel on UK business. You can print the card and brochures at the following links:
 Executive Assistance Card
 (pdf), Executive Assistance Brochure (pdf).

HTH Travel Medical Insurance is UK’s preferred vendor for travel medical insurance, and it provides coverage for your (approvable) medical expenses while abroad, for a low cost. They have a network of providers, which does not necessarily coincide with the providers that the above services would recommend, but which has proven reliable in cases where we have used it. The advantage of HTH is that, in many (not all) cases where you use their network providers, you do not have to pay your expenses up front and then submit them later for reimbursement; HTH can work directly with the physicians or the hospital to cover the expenses.

  • If you are taking a group of UK students abroad on an approved program, HTH insurance will be provided for you under our group umbrella.
  • If you are traveling abroad in another UK capacity (not an Education Abroad program), you can purchase HTH insurance independently. This can be done at the website www.hthtravelinsurance.com
  • If purchased independently, HTH coverage is not a reimbursable UK expense; it is considered private coverage.
  • You should feel free to compare HTH prices and coverage with those of other travel medical insurance providers, and buy the one that best fits your needs.

Work-related injuries, and some illnesses, that occur while abroad on UK business are covered by Workers’ Compensation, and should be reported to UK Workers’ Care. See www.uky.edu/HR/policies/hrpp096.html for information, or report an incident at 1-800-440-6285.

For travel to areas where war/terrorism represents a substantial risk, long-term disability coverage requires travel authorization at the level of the provost or higher; e-mail approval should be directed to Bart Miller, Employee Benefits at bart.miller@uky.edu. Contact Associate Provost for Internationalization Susan Carvalho at carvalho@uky.edu for further information.