Health, Safety & Security

Faculty, staff, and students are required to elect and register for certain types of insurance before going abroad.  The grid below shows the various college-affiliated options which are described in greater detail below.

Insurance Coverage While Abroad

 Worldwide Travel AssistanceGlobal RescueCIGNA*GeoBlue
Employee: Benefits EligibleXXX 
Employee: Non-Benefits Eligible X  
Dependents of Benefits Eligible EmployeesX X 
Non-US Based Employees X  
Midd Schools Abroad Students X X
Midd Student Abroad (not at a Midd School Abroad) X  
MIIS Student X  

*If elected


Students studying at a Middlebury School Abroad are automatically enrolled in a study abroad health insurance plan through GeoBlue for the duration of the program. This coverage is mandatory and cannot be waived.  This insurance plan provides up to $250,000 medical coverage (accident/sickness) with zero deductible. There is also medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. In addition to the benefits listed above, these insurance plans provide emergency service with 24-hour, worldwide, telephone assistance. This service can aid students in a variety of emergency situations, such as providing help in obtaining physician and hospital referrals.  This insurance plan does not cover students when they are in the US.

Worldwide Travel Assistance

Employees on the standard U.S. benefits program are covered by the Assist America worldwide travel assistance program offered through UNUM. This benefit provides pre-trip assistance, and immediate 24/7 attention for emergencies including translation and interpretation services, locating legal services, assistance with stolen baggage, document replacement, referrals for local medical providers, emergency medical evacuation, assistance obtaining replacement prescription, etc.  Eligible employees can contact Human Resources for an ID card, call the program directly at 800-872-1414 (in U.S.) or 609-986-1234 (outside of U.S.) or email directly at in the event of an emergency.

Employees on the Global Benefits program (CIGNA) are covered by the International SOS Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit.  This program provides immediate 24/7 attention for emergencies, including emergency evacuation, family travel arrangements, repatriation, etc.  Eligible employees can contact Human Resources for information or log onto the CIGNA Envoy secure web portal ( for information.

Global Rescue

Middlebury College has an agreement with Global Rescue for medical and security advisory and evacuation services for Middlebury and MIIS students on college-sponsored activities abroad, as well as faculty and staff traveling on college business.  Global Rescue is available to assist travelers affected by medical and security emergencies while studying, working, or traveling abroad.  They are available to consult and ensure appropriate medical treatment or safety measures are being taken.  In addition, Global Rescue will arrange for the provision of health information services through their operations team and Johns Hopkins Medicine to include medical advice, case monitoring, hospital and clinic referrals, and evacuation services.  This consultation service comes at no cost to the traveler.  Any costs associated with treatment, transportation, or evacuation will be the traveler’s responsibility. 

Travelers in need of either of these services can contact Global Rescue at +1-617-459-4200 and identify themselves as a Middlebury/MIIS traveler.  The membership card may be downloaded here.

Employees with localized benefits may have other coverage; refer to your benefits documentation for details.


Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care while traveling abroad can be expensive and U.S. medical insurance and the health plans of most other countries are generally not accepted outside of the country of origin.  It is ultimately the traveler’s/employee’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has adequate coverage while abroad.

The standard U.S. medical plan (CIGNA) will pay for covered services incurred outside of the U.S., however in almost all cases the participant will need to pay for the claims directly and then file for reimbursement from CIGNA.  A detailed receipt, including: patient name, date of service, type of service, provider’s name, and cost must be provided with the claim form.  If the original receipt is not in English a translation must be submitted with the claim.

Employees covered under the Global Benefits program (CIGNA) are encouraged to log onto the CIGNA Envoy secure web portal (  and create an account.  This site can help you find a doctor and submit and track claims, as well as download claim forms in 16 languages, access online medical advice, print replacement ID cards, etc.

Certain employees who are based outside of the U.S. and are enrolled in non-U.S. medical plans may be eligible for the Medical Benefits Abroad program through CIGNA.  This program is designed to provide wrap-around coverage for international business travel.  It is intended to supplement, not replace the employee’s domestic health coverage, to claims related to an illness or accident while an employee is on an approved business trip for the College.

Types of medical coverage available for localized employees varies greatly depending on the laws and norms of the specific of country of operation as well as the individual’s employment status.  Many countries have some form of national health system which covers all or most citizens.  Details must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

If your insurance does not cover you abroad, it is a good idea to consider purchasing a short-term policy that will do so.  There are health insurance policies that are specifically designed to cover travel. 

Other Resources
FileHealth Information Guide.docxPredeparture Health Advice
Parton Center for Health & WellnessHealthy Travel
Centers for Disease ControlInternational Health Information
US Department of StateInternational Health Information
Register with the Dept. of StateIn the event of a lost passport or emergency
911Emergency Numbers Abroad