Participant Insurance

To help ensure the health and safety of participants, SIT partners with GeoBlue to provide health insurance as well as medical, mental health, and security assistance services. Participants are covered for the duration of their program while outside the U.S. Coverage includes any accidents or illness incurred while abroad as well as treatment of chronic conditions, mental health services, and prescriptions. It does not cover routine preventative care. We strongly encourage participants to maintain ongoing health insurance coverage in the U.S.

You can learn about coverage details in the GeoBlue Member Guide. GeoBlue offers a wide range of services including assistance with finding a provider, scheduling appointments, global TeleMD, prescription benefits, pre-departure assistance, and political and natural disaster services.

We encourage participants to create a member login and download the GeoBlue app to facilitate easy access to their services. Through the app participants can search for facilities or providers in their location, request direct payment, submit reimbursement claims, check safety alerts, medication equivalents, and even translate common medical phrases. Participants can also access services through the GeoBlue website or call directly to get assistance. SIT will provide participants with GeoBlue registration information including our Group ID number during the predeparture phase.

GeoBlue offers a pre-departure program for all enrolled members. This service is recommended for participants managing chronic medical or mental health conditions. Participants utilizing this service will need to fill out a questionnaire and will be contacted by a GeoBlue medical professional to discuss care needs and required medications in relation to your program location(s). GeoBlue medical professionals can assist participants in establishing a plan to utilize local providers.

In most cases GeoBlue is able to issue a Guarantee of Payment letter for in-network providers. For out-of-network providers or cases not opened in advance, participants are required to pay out of pocket and submit a claim for reimbursement. Participants should be prepared to pay at least $500 out of pocket for care and get fully reimbursed after a claim is filed. Claims can take up to 30 business days to be reimbursed.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I register with GeoBlue?

We recommend registering with GeoBlue so you can access their member portal and app services as soon as you receive registration details from SIT, prior to departure. GeoBlue offers many resources that can help prepare you for your time abroad.

Contact [email protected] for information on how to access GeoBlue’s pre-departure program which includes a care management plan and prescription availability and equivalency in-country.

When should I call GeoBlue?

Call or utilize GeoBlue’s app as soon as you realize you need medical care. A GeoBlue medical professional can help you identify facilities or providers in your location.

What happens if I don’t contact GeoBlue before seeking treatment or if they cannot pay the facility/doctor directly?

Expect to pay out of pocket for medical, mental health, and prescription services and file for reimbursement.

How soon should I inform GeoBlue about emergency care?

You or your program staff should call GeoBlue as soon as possible when seeking medical care.

When does my coverage start and end?

Participants are covered by this policy 14 days prior to program start date and 14 days post program end date, only applicable outside of the U.S.

Does the policy include personal property coverage?

No, our policy does not include personal property coverage. We highly recommend that you purchase your own property insurance to protect your expensive personal property such as laptops and phones as it is possible for them to get damaged, lost, or stolen while abroad.

Am I covered by this policy if I am studying outside the U.S. but in my country of permanent residence?

No, our policy is international travel insurance. It does not cover participants when traveling within their country of permanent residence.

I am an international student coming to the U.S. for an SIT residency. Am I covered by this insurance?

No, as this insurance does not function in the United States. International students who come to the U.S. for residencies on J-1 visas are required to have health insurance that meets U.S. Department of State requirements covering medical benefits, repatriation, evacuation, and maximum deductible. The mandatory coverages can be found on the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) website. The policy must cover the student and accompanying dependents, if any, from the first day of the SIT program until 30 days after the end of the program. J-1 students and dependents who do not have this insurance immediately lose their J-1 status and are no longer legally in the U.S. International students who come to the U.S. on F-1 visas are strongly encouraged to buy similar insurance to cover their entire stay in the U.S.