Policy Regarding Mandatory International Health and Evacuation Insurance

Students participating on a Lawrence-sponsored or -affiliated international off-campus program are required to carry the Lawrence University international health and evacuation insurance policy administered by Cultural Insurance Services International. The only exception to this requirement is for students on programs provided by IES (students on IES programs will not be enrolled in the LU group coverage through CISI). The Off-Campus Programs office will automatically enroll students for the CISI coverage. The fee for this coverage (currently $47 per month of coverage) is charged to the student’s Lawrence account along with the program fees.

It is presumed that this coverage is in addition to whatever medical insurance coverage the student already holds and has thus been factored into the comprehensive cost estimates for the international off-campus study programs.

The insurance coverage starts three days before the program start date and extends one week beyond the program end date to allow time for travel to and from the program. As this coverage is valid only outside the United States, all students are strongly encouraged to maintain their health insurance coverage in the United States in the event of their unexpected return due to a health emergency.

What is the CISI coverage?

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) provides insurance coverage for medical needs, emergency evacuation for medical and security reasons, and access to travel assistance internationally. Travel assistance services are provided by Assist America.

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) – Insurance company
  • The plan is a worldwide accident/illness health insurance coverage for medical expenses up to $150,000 per injury/illness.  The CISI plan includes 24/365 medical/travel/technical assistance, medical and security evacuation and coverage for repatriation of remains.
  • Coverage: The plan covers medical coverage for non-routine matters.  Routine physicals and preventative treatment is not covered. Medical expenses include but are not limited to (see policy brochure for full list of coverage and exclusions) counseling, doctor and specialist visits, hospital costs, surgeon and surgery costs, anesthesia, prescription medicines, supplies, testing, etc.  This is not a vision or dental policy but some aspects of vision and dental are covered – for instance, accidental injury to the eye, eye infection, accidental injury to a tooth, treatment for emergency tooth pain.  There is no deductible for this policy.  There are no networks of covered providers and you can get treatment from any licensed medical provider or facility – you do not need to go to certain providers.
  • Travel related benefits: The plan also includes the following travel related benefits and 24/365 assistance services (see policy brochure for full list of coverage limits): baggage and personal effects, emergency medical reunion, accidental death and dismemberment, return of mortal remains, medical evacuation or repatriation covering cost of moving from one medical facility to the nearest adequate facility or back home with medical escort(s) and upgraded seat(s) if deemed medically necessary, and security evacuation covering the cost of moving to the nearest place of safety (and covering hotel/meals there) and/or home if a security event is triggered, and 24/365 medical/travel/technical assistance through Assist America (see below).  Evacuation and repatriation must be approved and arranged through the 24/365 assistance partner Assist America.
  • Logging into the CISI portal When the Off-Campus Programs office enrolls someone in the Lawrence group policy, the individual will receive an email from CISI with essential information about their coverage.  Individuals can then log into the CISI Participant Portal system called myCISI which will give them access to their ID card, policy document, search for a doctor, personal security information, and claim form. CISI also has an app that includes resources such as the location of U.S. Embassies and consulates around the world, individual country profiles, CDC vaccine advice and U.S. State Department advice.
  • This policy is not trip insurance: CISI is not trip interruption or trip cancellations coverage. The CISI policy does not cover flights (interruption or cancellation).  If individuals choose to have this coverage, they usually purchase this when they purchase their flights.  CISI offers trip cancellation coverage for individual purchase (not through Lawrence’s group policy) which can be purchased directly between the individual and CISI (https://www.culturalinsurance.com/marketplace/#Trip-Cancellation).
  • Athletics travel coverage: For athletic teams traveling internationally, if NCAA insurance coverage exists while you are practicing, playing, or competing, this insurance would serve as primary coverage for practice and game-related injuries.  CISI insurance coverage is primary coverage for the non-athletic portions of the travel.
  • Video: This video is a quick introduction to the CISI supplemental insurance coverage: https://youtu.be/RLt6qDMS7xA.

What is the Assist America coverage?

Assist America provides global travel assistance service and resources. Those covered by Lawrence's group policy with CISI can access Assist America as a benefit of our CISI coverage.

Assist America (AAI), also referred to as ‘Team Assist’ - Global emergency care assistance
  • Medical or security support: Support is available 24/7 to help advise or refer travelers in need of medical or security support. They have an in-house medical staff who can help answer medical questions, refer, or monitor level of care you are receiving in country.  They are not able to diagnose over the phone so if they receive a call asking if they should seek treatment, AAI will typically recommend being seen and can help provide referrals for local clinics or hospitals.
  • Non-emergency resources: AAI’s website has many resources (you may need to login to their site with your policy number, which is available on the CISI insurance card to access some resources).  You can also email or call them for non-emergency questions. 
  • Before departure, AAI can provide the following support:
  • Vaccination recommendations
  • Availability and legality of medications in host country
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, AAI can assist before departure to plan for appropriate care by starting a “Continuation of Care” case.  This can help determine if their current medications are legal and/or available in the countries being visited, help locate an overseas provider to see the insured as needed while overseas, sometimes schedule the first appointment, and see if the provider is willing to bill AAI or CISI directly.
  • When to contact AAI: Contact AAI during the insured period for medical referrals to local hospitals or clinics and whether English is spoken, help with monitoring lost or delayed luggage, legal help, lost/stolen passport replacement help, emergency trauma counseling, travel or medical emergencies, etc.
  • Important: Assist America must be contacted anytime there is a hospitalization or anytime an insured is being moved (i.e. medical or security related evacuation).  This is so that their medical/security teams can be involved in monitoring the insured, guaranteeing payment, and arranging/paying for necessary medical or security evacuations.

What to expect of the CISI coverage if you seek medical attention

Accessing CISI insurance coverage for a significant medical issue or injury:
  • Seek necessary treatment without delay from a licensed medical provider or facility.  CISI is always willing to pay a foreign provider directly is they are willing to send their itemized bills to CISI.  CISI can pay by wire transfer in nearly all foreign countries. 
  • In the case of hospitalization or ER visit, the insured or someone on behalf of the insured must open a medical case with AAI so that CISI, in coordination with AAI, can send a guarantee of payment (GOP) to the foreign hospital.  CISI does not want insureds to have to pay a large hospital bill, so they try and are most of the time successful in having the hospital bill us instead of the insured.  In a case where the insured has to place the charges on their credit card, CISI works to expedite reimbursement.

Accessing CISI insurance coverage for minor medical issues or injury:

  • After seeking medical or other treatment covered by the CISI policy from a licensed medical provider or facility, the person getting treatment will typically pay the provider.  Rest assured that medical treatment outside of the United States is typically much less expensive than we are used to in the US. 
  • You will submit a claim form to CISI along with itemized medical bills, pharmacies receipts, or other applicable documentation.  CISI will reimburse you in US Dollars. 
  • Claim forms are sent to each insured person at the time of enrollment and is always available from your myCISI Participant Portal or from the CISI Students app.  CISI is able to pay foreign providers directly by wire transfer.  This is typically utilized in the event of more expensive treatment and all parties usually find paying for treatment and being reimbursed as the most convenient with smaller charges.  Many providers outside of the United States prefer payment from the patient when services are rendered. 

Notes and Tips

  • Everyone should log into their CISI account when they get their enrollment notification email. The myCISI Participant Portal has important information. At minimum, be sure to print your ID card and policy coverage brochure. Do not assume that in an emergency situation you will have internet access and ability to log into CISI’s system to find your card and coverage information.
  • CISI, like all US businesses, must adhere to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions through the US Treasury Department.  CISI does not specifically exclude any countries from coverage but coverage may have limitations in countries with OFAC sanctions due to US sanction limitations.  Those with CISI coverage can check the 'Sanctions Programs and Country Information' page of the Treasury Department for current sanction information.
  • If you are planning personal travel before or after the dates of the coverage through the Lawrence group plan, students, faculty, or staff can purchase “Extra Month Coverage” for up to 30 days of travel. This can be purchased through the myCISI Participant Portal. The plan is separate but similar to the Lawrence University plan. The extension plan is comprehensive with coverage for accidents/sickness as well as medical evacuation and return of remains. Security evacuation coverage is available in the upgraded individual plan option.
  • Use the resources in the myCISI Participant Portal app. Download the “CISI Students” app for free in iTunes or the App Store. Faculty or staff leading international travel with students will also use the “CISI Students” app (not “CISI Groups”). Once you have an account with CISI, you will have access to all of your personalized documents and additional resources. With the app, you can save the documents to their smart phone so these materials will be saved on the phone if there is no wi-fi access. To do this, find the ‘Offline Information’ icon on the first screen of the app.
  • If you are planning side trips or personal travel within the CISI coverage dates, consider reporting this travel in the “myItenrary” section of the “myCISI Participant Portal.” This allows CISI to provide emergency monitoring of your locations that enable more proactive support in the event of an incident.

Contact Information

Assist America/AAI/Team Assist (In case of medical or security related emergency, contact emergency assistance provider)

  • Available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year
  • Phone:
    • (609) 986-1234 (calling from outside of the US, collect calls accepted)
    • (800) 872-1414 (calling toll-free from within the US)
  • Email: medservices@assistamerica.com
  • Have your Assist America policy information available (listed on CISI insurance card)

Cultural Insurance Services International/CISI (For non-urgent benefit or claim questions)

  • Monday to Friday 9a to 5p Eastern time
  • Phone:
    • 203-399-5130 (calling from outside of the US, collect calls accepted)
    • 800-303-8120 ext 5130 (calling toll-free from within the US)
  • Email: claimhelp@mycisi.com
  • Have your policy and individual ID info available