You must have health insurance and you should be familiar with what is covered and what is not when traveling abroad. Also, before traveling, you should acquaint yourself with the health care system in your destination country including the quality of facilities and cost of services.
All registered Harvard students are automatically enrolled in the student Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) plan. All the benefits are based on the academic year, August 1 through July 31, and cover you while traveling abroad.
Important Travel Abroad Information from Harvard University Health Services
- General information is available on the HUHS Member Services website.
- BCBS’s BlueCard Worldwide Service Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Service Center will help you find a BlueCard Worldwide hospital or doctor. The BlueCard Worldwide Service Center may be able to facilitate cashless access for inpatient care.
- Information on hospitals and doctors throughout the world is available on the BlueCard Worldwide portal or by calling 800-810-BLUE (2583) or +1 804-673-1177 (collect from outside the U.S.)
- Be advised that you may need to pay for services up-front and file for reimbursement later. For international claims filing and payment information, please see the BCBS website.
- If you have questions about your Harvard health insurance coverage while traveling contact BCBS’s Member Services at +1 617-495-2008 or by email.
Important Health Insurance Contact Information
HUHS Member Services +1 617-495-2008 www.huhs.havard.edu
BCBS Massachusetts 800-257-8141 www.bluecrossma.com
BlueCard Worldwide 800-810-BLUE (2583) www.bluecardworldwide.com
+1 804-673-1177 (for collect calls from outside the U.S.)
Harvard Travel Assist provides medical and security advice and referrals and emergency evacuation services to Harvard travelers abroad. To ensure access to these services, it is crucial that all international travel be registered in the Harvard Travel Registry.
Eligibility: Harvard Law School students traveling under the School’s auspices or independently in relation to academic or professional work are covered by Harvard Travel Assist. International students traveling to their home countries may not be covered. Personal or leisure travel is not covered. Harvard employees and fellows, while traveling on University business, are also eligible for coverage. Please visit the Harvard Travel Assist website for eligibility details and information on exclusions to coverage, as well as country-specific information.
Medical Assistance Services
- 24-hour access to physicians who provide emergency and routine medical advice
- 24-hour access to medical information, referrals and emergency assistance
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Medically supervised repatriation
- Assistance with documentation for insurance claims
The following medical assistance services may incur a charge to the traveler or their insurance if a third party is engaged to deliver services (health care providers, transportation, hotels, etc.).
- Medical and dental referrals
- Medical expenses guarantee and payment
- Hotel arrangements for outpatient care
- Arrangement of ground transportation and accommodation for accompanying family members
- Dispatch of prescription medication and medical equipment
Please note: Harvard Travel Assist is not health insurance. When necessary, Chubb Insurance, via Harvard Travel Assist (and the associated service providers), will pay a clinic or health care provider on the traveler’s behalf. However, these expenses will typically be billed to the traveler’s health insurance later; if uninsured, expenses may be billed to the traveler. Therefore, travelers should familiarize themselves with their insurance providers’ policies on overseas coverage.
Call Harvard Travel Assist worldwide, 24/7:
- The nearest U.S. embassy or consulate can provide a list of local physicians and medical facilities.
- The Centers for Disease Control provides information relating to health issues for traveling abroad.
- Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response provides resources and support for victims of interpersonal violence including sexual assault, rape, harassment, relationship violence, or stalking.
Many countries will require visitors to have immunizations prior to granting a visa or entry into the country, and you will also want the immunizations for your own health. You may contact University Health Services at the Smith Campus Center for a travel consult, in order to determine the inoculations or other medical services you may need prior to departure, and to learn about relevant health conditions. During your pre-trip planning you should consider that some vaccinations must be administered up to 4 to 6 weeks before travel. Remember to photocopy your immunization record and bring a copy with you when you travel.
If malaria is endemic in the country to which you will be traveling, start and follow your prophylactic malaria treatment conscientiously.
Important Immunization Contact Information
Harvard University Health Services
Smith Campus Center
(for travel consults)
Law School Health Clinic