Coverage While Traveling

COVID-19: Contacting the Benefits Department

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Human Resources is working remotely until further notice. During this time, Craig Hall is not open to the public; walk-ins will not be accepted and forms cannot be dropped off in-person or faxed. During this time, we recommend submitting all requests and inquiries online in lieu of sending physical mail or leaving phone messages.

If you have a Benefits-related inquiry, including the submission of forms or documentation, the quickest way to receive assistance is to submit an online request. You can also call the Benefits Department at 833-852-2210.

The University of Pittsburgh provides coverage for employees during both personal and University-related travel. The Office of Human Resources hosted a presentation on international travel benefits. Watch the recording, which includes presentation slides.

Travel Types

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. You remain responsible for your portion of the insurance premium while you and your dependents are out of the UPMC Health Plan service area.

University-Related Travel

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

Additional details on International SOS can be found on the PittGlobal website.

Emergencies and Assistance

Emergency Services

Under all plans, medical emergency situations are covered worldwide. In 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 UPMC 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. In addition, it also provides assistance with trip preparation such as advisement on required immunizations and location of medical facilities at your destination. You can search for information at 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 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”

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

For those with UPMC Health Plan coverage who travel outside of UPMC's service area and for dependents up to age 26, please refer to the following list of frequently asked questions to understand how to access care and to find a variety of ways to contact UPMC and Assist America.

Travel Registration and International Travel

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:

  1. Log on to
  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 

International SOS provides brief videos that offers more information for employees on their website.

International SOS will send travel alerts to your cell phone and provide the Membership App for your journey after registration is complete through the travel registry. Students and Staff members are required to complete the travel registry information prior to any international travel. The University strongly recommends the use of the travel registry for faculty, though it is not required.

To otherwise contact International SOS:

  • Call 215-942-8226 OR
  •  Open your smartphone’s browser and go to and enter the University of Pittsburgh Membership No. 11BMAS563390

Please contact the Benefits Department at 412-624-8160 or visit, if you have any questions.

UPMC International Travel Program

UPMC offers an International Travel Program that helps individuals who travel abroad. 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 UPMC's International Travel Program online.

You may 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 These resources may be used for personal travel, however, there is no need to contact Pitt's Employee Health Department.