Insurance: Health and Emergency Medical Assistance for College-sponsored Travel

A college-sponsored trip is any trip related to research, courses, or official college business. Examples include professional/academic conference attendance, research, or official college visits. 

Health Insurance

Faculty, staff, and students traveling internationally for college business (e.g. research, conferences) should contact their health insurance provider to find out if coverage extends to the country of travel.  Travelers should also determine how to pay for health services should they be needed while abroad, since it is most likely that travelers will have to submit a reimbursement claim after payment in full is made at the time of service. 

Emergency Medical Assistance Benefit

Most health insurance policies do not include coverage for emergency medical evacuation or repatriation of remains, both of which are costly. Amherst faculty and staff traveling one hundred miles from home or more on a college-sponsored trip have an emergency medical assistance benefit through Five Colleges, Inc. with AIG Travel Assist.  Print a copy of the membership card and policy, which includes the policy number and emergency number for collect calls.   The benefit covers the Amherst College employee only. Dependents and spouses are not covered, but coverage can be purchased through AIG Travel Assist by the employee. Additional information can also be found on the Five Colleges, Inc. Risk Management site:, including links to AIG and “Travel Safety Tips.”

Pre-departure Checklist:

  1. Log onto AIG Travel Assist to download a membership brochure that has the policy number and overseas collect call number, review country profiles, and sign up for travel alerts
  2. Faculty who are U.S. citizens should register their trip with the U.S. Embassy Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at Faculty from other countries should consult with their home country embassy for a similar program.
  3. Review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( country profiles for recommended immunizations and other information.
  4. Review the U.S. State Department website ( to learn of existing travel advisories issued by the U.S. government, entry and exit requirements for U.S. citizens, applying for or renewing your passport, etc.
  5. Contact your health insurance provider to learn if coverage is available in the host country. If not, contact travel insurance companies directly or visit a site such as to compare plans for coverage.