Coverage While Away from Home

University faculty and staff travel  for many different reasons.  Generally the travel falls into two different categories:

  • Personal – Vacation, visits to see friends or family members
  • University Related  – Travel on business or academic matters

Personal Travel

Persons covered by a University of Pittsburgh medical plan are covered for urgent medical care and emergency services when traveling outside of the UPMC Health Plan service area.

Your existing coverage through the University continues while you are traveling for personal reasons.  You remain responsible for your portion of the insurance premium while you or your dependents are out of the UPMC Health Plan service area.

Emergency Services

Under all plans, if you have a life threatening emergency, you have the comfort of knowing you are covered worldwide. In medical emergency situations:

  • Seek care immediately from the nearest emergency facility
  • If you are close to home, notify your PCP (if applicable) or contact UPMC Health Plan University of Pittsburgh Member Services at 1-888-499-6885 within 24 to 48 hours.
  • If you are away from home, contact the dedicated University of Pittsburgh Member Services line at UPMC at 1-888-499-6885 within 24 to 48 hours.
  • If admitted to an out-of-network facility, please contact the dedicated University of Pittsburgh Member Services line at UPMC at 1-888-499-6885.
  • Have claims processed through UMPC Health Plan before making payment to providers outside the network.

Assist America

Through UPMC Health Insurance, University travelers are automatically eligible for Assist America services.  Assist America services include emergency medical services such as help with hospital admissions, referrals to qualified physicians, and emergency medical evacuation. It also includes assistance with pre-trip preparation such as advisement on required immunizations and location of medical facilities at your destination.  You can search for information at www.assistamerica.com  before or during your trip for help. 

If you are traveling to an area where there are health concerns, you should contact Assist America at 1-800-872-1414 prior to your departure.

You will need to take the following steps to obtain the University of Pittsburgh’s Assist America Identification Card with the Reference Number:

  1. Log onto my.pitt.edu and enter your username and password
  2. From the "My Resources" drop down menu, select "UPMC Health Plan"
  3. Select “My Health” located in the upper right-hand side of the portal page
  4. After authentication takes place in approximately 15 seconds, you will land on the UPMC My Health Online homepage
  5. From the homepage, click on “Self-Service Tools”
  6. Click on “I want to print…”
  7. Click on “An Assist America ID card for an upcoming trip”

For business travel, contact the Office of Risk Management at 412-624-0621.  You may also be referred to the UPMC Corporate Health Program for recommended vaccinations. The UPMC Corporate Health Program can be contacted by calling 412-560-8765.  The website is http://www.upmc.com/services/corporate-health/services/pages/default.aspx.  You can also contact the Allegheny County Health Department to schedule vaccinations at 412-687-ACHD.  Further detailed travel-related health information may be found through the Centers for Disease Control at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.  For personal travel, all of the previous resources may be used; however, there is no need to contact Pitt’s Employee Health Department.

NOTE:  Eligibility for Assist America is for UPMC Health Plan policyholders traveling more than 100 miles from home for less than 90 days.  Expatriate coverage is available for purchase for trips exceeding 90 days.  Contact Assist America for the enrollment form. 

University-Related Travel

The University’s faculty, staff, and students have greater involvement in international activity than ever before.  With increased global travel comes greater opportunities for partnerships and expanded learning experiences for students.  For any University member traveling on an academic or work-related assignment, a new travel and security assistance protection plan through International SOS has been added effective January 1, 2016.   International SOS is the world’s leading medical and travel security risks services company.  In an emergency – or for routine advice - the International SOS team of 11,000 professionals, as well as their global network of nearly 60,000 vetted providers are available to serve the University.

Benefits of the program include:

  • Medical or security evacuation if warranted
  • Travel assistance for lost luggage or passports
  • Emergency medical assistance ranging from lost prescription medication to helping find the best local medical facility
  • An accidental death and dismemberment policy through Cigna
  • Coverage for spouses and dependent children who may accompany the faculty or staff member on a trip

The service also includes the International SOS Membership App.  Benefits include:

  • Travelers can quick dial for immediate help from an International SOS alarm center, whether or it is for an emergency or just for advice 24/7/365.
  • The app can provide medical and security alerts for each user’s locations.  You will be kept aware of changing situations and can adjust plans accordingly.

No matter where you are in the world, help is a telephone call or a click away. 

Importance of Registering Your Travel

When you register your travel through the University’s travel registry, you will automatically be enrolled for the International SOS coverage.  To register for international travel and the benefits provided by this program, please follow these few steps:

  1. Log on to my.pitt.edu
  2. Select the Tab – My Resources
  3. Scroll down and click on “Travel Registry”
  4. In the upper right hand corner of the page, click on “Register Your Trip Now”
  5. Complete the short questionnaire which takes just a few minutes

To learn more about International SOS, there are two very brief videos titled “At a Glance” and “By the Numbers” that may be found on their website at: https://www.internationalsos.com/about-us/our-global-infrastructure 

Registration will be completed through the travel registry hosted by International SOS.  They in turn will send travel alerts to your cellular phone and provide the Membership App for your journey.  Students and Staff members are required to complete the travel registry information prior to any international travel.  While use of the travel registry is optional for faculty, we strongly recommend that it should be used.  Having advanced information on your travel in the event of an emergency can make a meaningful difference when hours and even minutes may be critical for your health can safety. 

To otherwise contact International SOS:

  1. Open your smartphone’s browser and go to app.internationalsos.com
  2. Enter the University of Pittsburgh Membership No. 11BMAS563390

Please contact the Benefits Department at 412-624-8160 if you have any questions.    You should also visit the Pitt Global Operations Support website at: globaloperations.pitt.edu

UPMC International Travel Program

UPMC offers an International Travel Program that helps individuals who travel abroad meet the medical requirements and provides recommendations to stay healthy during an upcoming trip.

The International Travel Program offers many services to travelers including comprehensive medical consultations, evaluations and immunizations. These services include:

  • A review of the travelers’ health and immunization history, as well as patient education regarding immunizations and prescriptions that may be necessary.
  • Medications to help prevent common travelers' ailments and other potential infections.
  • General health guidelines and information about the safety of water sources in foreign countries, safe food selections to avoid contamination, and precautions to take in climates with extreme heat or humidity, as well as other helpful recommendations.
  • Complete immunization services according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of State (DOS), and the World Health Organization (WHO) for travelers going to any part of the world.
  • The program’s clinical staff can also provide complete follow-up care in the event of an illness when individuals return from a trip abroad.

The program can be utilized for University of Pittsburgh sponsored travel or for personal travel. Fees incurred for services obtained for University of Pittsburgh sponsored travel are reimbursable through a Travel and Business (T&B) Expense Reimbursement submission with the traveler’s University department.  Personal travel expenses are not eligible for reimbursement.

For more information about UPMC’s International Travel Program, please call 412-560-8765 or visit their website, click here...