The first step is for students to contact their current health insurance provider to determine the extent of medical coverage it provides while they're overseas. Coverage varies substantially among providers. If you're covered while traveling outside of the U.S., ask the provider if there is a special number to call since most US 1-800 numbers will not work when called from outside the US. Many policies cover emergency service and you may expect to pay for the services and submit the costs to your insurer for reimbursement. Carry your card and keep an additional copy with you while you travel.

If your current provider does has minimal coverage outside the U.S., you may wish to purchase additional coverage. Note that the average cost of medical evacuation is between $10,000 and $20,000 and can run higher, so be certain that you have some sort of coverage. Also consider coverage for repatriation of remains.

There are many providers of this type of insurance. Be aware of the restrictions of each type of policy before purchasing. Macalester College cannot recommend a health insurance policy; it is up to you and your family to choose an option that best meets your health insurance needs.