Health Insurance

In the trip planning process, all travelers need to assess their insurance provider and determine if they need to obtain additional coverage for their destination; this includes students with Aetna and employees with United Healthcare/Cigna MBA coverage. It is important to understand what, if anything, is excluded from your insurance provider, such as injuries sustained abroad, and preventative and routine care. 

If traveling internationally on Columbia Travel (e.g., study abroad, research, internship, etc.), your health insurance policy must provide coverage outside the U.S. for routine, urgent, and emergent care.

  • Students at the Morningside campus enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan, should visit the Columbia Health Insurance Office page for additional information.
  • Students at the CUMC campus, should visit the Navigating Aetna page additional information.

If you are abroad and need medical assistance, call International SOS (ISOS) at +001-215-942-8478. ISOS can assist in finding a healthcare provider, clinic, or hospital. When you call, provide them with the following details:

  1. Columbia University’s membership number: 11BSGC000064.
  2. Your name, UNI, your school of registration, and the department/unit sponsoring your travel.

Please note that ISOS does not coordinate benefits with Aetna or other health insurance providers. If you receive medical care while you are abroad and wish to submit a claim with Aetna, contact their Benefits and Claims at:

  • 1-800-859-8471
  • www.aetnastudenthealth.com/columbia

Columbia employees are automatically eligible for Cigna Medical Benefits Abroad (MBA) coverage while on international Columbia Travel. Cigna MBA covers unexpected injuries and illness that occur while traveling on international business (with duration of six months or less).  Cigna MBA provides full coverage for medically necessary services without deductibles, coinsurance or copays.  This plan also includes emergency dental coverage up to a $1,000 limit. Preventive or routine care is not covered by this policy. No enrollment is required to use this medical coverage, and benefits are automatically coordinated when contacting ISOS for assistance.

Who is covered?

  • Columbia University faculty and staff will be covered for the duration of the business trip and any personal travel which occurs in the middle of the business trip.
  • Personal travel at the beginning or end of a business trip will be covered only up to a total of 7 days.
  • Spouses, Same Sex Domestic Partners and dependent children up to age 26 who accompany a University employee on the international business trip will be covered under this policy. If they are not traveling on the same itinerary, their coverage will begin when they are united with the University employee.

 

How to use the coverage?

If you are abroad and need medical assistance, call International SOS (ISOS) at +001-215-942-8478. ISOS can assist in finding a healthcare provider, clinic, or hospital. When you call, provide them with the following details:

  • Columbia University’s membership number: 11BSGC000064.
  • Your name, UNI, your school of registration, and the department/unit sponsoring your travel.

In the event you have already paid a provider directly for services, reimbursement for the expense may be effectuated via the Cigna Envoy Portal.

 

Going Abroad Longer than Six Months?

Columbia University benefits (such as health insurance and retirement plans) generally continue for Columbia employees who are assigned overseas, and who continue to be paid through the U.S. payroll. Employees who are assigned overseas for six months or longer may be eligible to enroll in the Cigna International Medical Plan, which provides comprehensive health coverage overseas and in the U.S.

 

Personal Travel

"When you are covered under the Basic Term Life Insurance Plan (from Cigna), you and your eligible dependents are also covered for emergency travel assistance (“Cigna Secure Travel” *) when traveling 100+ miles from home or when traveling in a foreign country for trips up to 180 days. This assistance can be for situations as serious as needing to be evacuated from a foreign country to something as simple as information on visas."  - HR Cigna Secure Travel Program

Please direct any questions regarding health insurance and personal travel coverage under the Cigna Secure Travel program to Human Resources Benefits at HRBenefits@columbia.edu, or via phone at 212-851-7000.


For medical benefit questions, please contact HR Benefits via email at HRBenefits@columbia.edu, or via phone at 212-851-7000.

If you have any other questions, please email us at globaltravel@columbia.edu.