International Insurance

Traveling Outside the U.S.

All students traveling abroad in connection with their University of Minnesota studies are required to obtain international travel, health, and security insurance approved by the University’s Office of Risk Management.  The University of Minnesota provides this mandatory international insurance coverage through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).

The CISI coverage is required for faculty and staff who do not carry medical benefits through their employment at the University of Minnesota. Faculty and staff leading students abroad must be covered by the CISI insurance policy, regardless of additional insurance coverage.

CISI is not available for personal or non-University travel. Faculty and staff covered by a UPlan medical plan have coverage through Redpoint.

Note: The travel, health and security insurance coverage through CISI is specifically exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and was not intended to and does not satisfy a person’s obligation to secure minimum essential coverage beginning in 2014 under the ACA. The University encourages travelers to consult with their legal counsel or tax adviser for information on their obligations under the ACA.

Contact: Kevin Dostal Dauer at or 612-625-5107.

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Who Must Obtain Insurance?

University-issued international insurance, with coverage by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), is mandatory for the following:


  • All students participating in credit bearing programs (e.g., study abroad, internships abroad for credit)
  • All students participating in sponsored or co-sponsored non-credit bearing experiential programs (e.g., work, intern, research, volunteer, conference, workshop, athletics, and University Campus Life Programs abroad)
  • All students traveling as part of a group with other UMN students, faculty or staff
  • All students approved for travel by the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC)
  • All students traveling to Cuba for University purposes
  • All recent graduates—for up to one term after graduation—participating in University of Minnesota sponsored or co-sponsored credit and non-credit programs

Faculty and Staff

  • All University of Minnesota faculty and staff traveling abroad with students
  • All University of Minnesota faculty and staff traveling to Cuba for University purposes
  • All University of Minnesota faculty and staff who are NOT covered by Redpoint through their UPlan medical plan

Opting Out

The following categories of faculty, staff and/or students may opt-out of mandatory purchasing of CISI per Office of General Counsel and Office of Risk Management. These travelers can still purchase CISI insurance, but it is not required. Qualified individuals who choose to opt-out are still required to complete the international travel registration.


  • A graduate student who is not traveling with faculty, staff, and other students and who has the Graduate Assistant Health Plan offered by the University of Minnesota. (Students will be required to submit a copy of their insurance card.)
  • Registered Student Organization (RSO) activities abroad because unlike University Campus Life Programs, RSOs have no direct relationship to the University.

Note: Academic Health Center students who are covered under the University's Student Health Benefit Plan are no longer eligible to opt out of CISI insurance.

Faculty and Staff

Student Insurance Process

Students should purchase or opt out of CISI insurance within the online student international travel registration system.  Students must register travel regardless of insurance decisions or needs.

  1. Log in to the Student International Travel Registry system.
  2. Complete the Personal Information, Travel Plans, and Emergency Contact Information.
  3. Select Purchase CISI International Insurance or Opt out of CISI International Insurance.
  4. Provide your Payment Information, if you purchase CISI.
  5. If you select to opt out of CISI, you must provide a photocopy of your U.S. health insurance card (see "Opting Out" in the Mandatory Insurance tab). Otherwise, you will be automatically enrolled in CISI
  6. If applying for dependents, a spouse, or domestic partner's insurance, the application and payment must be sent directly to CISI.

Students studying abroad through an Education Abroad Office listed below should NOT complete the travel registry process for obtaining CISI coverage. Please contact your education abroad office for more information:

Note: The U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Guam, and the U.S. minor outlying islands will be treated as international locations for the purposes of CISI insurance.

Retain the U.S. Health Insurance While Traveling Abroad

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), people residing in the U.S. will be required to obtain health insurance.  In addition, the University of Minnesota requires students who are admitted to a degree program and registered for six or more credits per semester to have U.S. health insurance coverage. This University requirement applies even while students are participating in education abroad opportunities.

CISI insurance does not qualify as U.S. health insurance because the coverage begins when you leave the U.S. and ends upon your return to the U.S.  As a result, you must retain your U.S. insurance during yuor time abroad to cover you before and after your program or activities abroad. The University of Minnesota does not verify U.S. health insurance enrollment, so it is each student’s responsibility to understand the ACA and University requirements and to retain their U.S. health insurance even while traveling abroad.

Note: If you study abroad through a program provided by the Education Abroad Office and you have coverage through the University of Minnesota’s Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) for the semester prior to their term overseas, you will automatically be enrolled for the time you'll be abroad. Contact the Office of Student Health Benefits with any questions at 612-624-0627, 1-800-232-9017 or

Faculty and Staff Application Process

University of Minnesota faculty and staff can purchase CISI insurance within the University's mandatory travel registration system.  All faculty and staff must register travel regardless of insurance decisions or needs. See comparison chart of coverage between CISI and Redpoint (which is included for those enrolled in a UPlan medical plan).

  1. Log in to the Travel Registry system.
  2. After completing Itinerary and Purpose and Contact Information, select "I need/want to purchase CISI international insurance."
  3. Enter the University of Minnesota EFS number that will pay for the insurance, the contact information of financial staff for the EFS account and Date of Birth. Click Submit.
  4. To cover dependent(s) or a spouse or domestic partner, download and complete the paper application and send with payment directly to CISI.

Note: The U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Guam, and the U.S. minor outlying islands will be treated as international locations for the purposes of CISI insurance.

Policy Details

University of Minnesota CISI Travel, Health, and Security Coverage

The following are items are included, for $43.00 per month (or $11.25 per week for up to 21 days), in the 2018-19 plan.

  • Emergency 24-hour telephone assistance
  • Medical/travel/technical assistance services
  • Accidental medical/sickness expense
  • No deductible
  • Mental and nervous benefit: $20,000 inpatient and $10,000 outpatients
  • Prescription drugs: paid at 100%
  • Pre-existing conditions: up to $100,000
  • Emergency family reunion benefit and return ticket benefit
  • Medical evacuation/repatriation
  • Political and security evacuation
  • Return of mortal remains
  • Accidental death and dismemberment
  • Program fee refund: up to $5,000 of allowable expenses in allowable cases
  • 90 day, $10,000 Home country extension of benefits coverage for injuries that began while covered overseas
  • Guaranteed payment directly to foreign hospitals when it is an option

How to use CISI

  1. CISI will send a copy of the insurance card, consulate letter, policy brochure, and claim form to each individual insured via email including the following information:
    • University of Minnesota Group ID number: 01-AA-CIS-01133
    • Toll-free, 24/7 assistance number in the U.S: 1-800-872-1414
    • Collect call from outside the U.S.: 1-609-986-1234
    • Email:
  2. Carry the insurance card with you at all times
  3. If you require medical treatment while abroad, pay for medical costs up-front. Be prepared to pay in cash for any medical services provided while abroad. In the case that the medical cost is too high, contact CISI. CISI will facilitate direct payment to the hospital
  4. To file a claim, you must download and complete a Claim Form and send it with all receipts to the address indicated on the form.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I contact CISI?

  • To learn whether medications that you are taking with are legal in the host country.
  • To locate U.S.-standard hospitals or English-speaking doctors or specialists in the host country.
  • When on-going treatment for a medical issue is prescribed.
  • Any time an insured individual is hospitalized, regardless of the severity.
  • When political unrest is threatened.
  • Anytime an insured individual may need to go home before the program ends.

Can CISI cover things like malaria medications and birth control pills?

No. As this is preventive medication, CISI cannot cover the cost of the medication; however, CISI can provide assistance with locating a local facility where an insured individual can obtain the necessary medication.

Will my prescription medications be covered by CISI?

The University of Minnesota strongly recommends that, while planning for international travel, you visit a medical specialist for a pre-existing condition and obtain a necessary amount that would last for your time abroad prior to departure. The cost for your visit to the U.S. doctor and medication that you obtain in the U.S. should be covered by your U.S. health insurance. If you need continuing care abroad for a pre-existing condition, contact CISI as early as possible. Know that some medications are not available or are considered a narcotic in other countries. CISI can assist you in locating a specialist and identifying available medications abroad, and the cost for the necessary medical care and medication will be covered by CISI.

How do I extend CISI coverage?

If you will spend extra time overseas before or after your program, you are strongly encouraged to purchase adequate insurance to cover that time. CISI will allow insured individuals to purchase up to 30 days of insurance beyond the dates of the University of Minnesota coverage. You will be able to add this coverage through CISI after you receive your insurance card. Rates vary.

How do I receive an insurance card, letter, and brochure from CISI?

Once you are enrolled, a CISI insurance card, letter, and brochure will be e-mailed to your U of M email address. You can also access these documents by following the steps below:

  1. Go to myCISI Portal
  2. Click Login to myCISI on the right side of the screen
  3. Scroll downand click on Forgot your password?
  4. Enter First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth (Date-Month-Year)
  5. Click Create an account / Reset password
  6. Enter email address and click Send Password to this email
  7. Check email and follow instructions to log in
  8. Change password, if first time logging in
  9. Click view/print/email to access your insurance card

Insurance for Personal or Non-University Travel

CISI insurance does not cover personal or non-University travel. The University of Minnesota does not endorse nor recommend any insurance company for personal travel or non-University related travel; however, the University recommends adequate insurance for international travel. Note that all faculty and staff covered by a UPlan medical plan have coverage through Redpoint.

Travel Medical Insurance

Benefits of a travel medical insurance plan for the time you will be out of the country may include doctor visits, emergency room care, prescriptions, emergency dental coverage, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and accidental death or dismemberment benefits. Travelers should consider their non-medical travel insurance needs as well, such as travel and liability insurance.

You should start by contacting your U.S. health insurance company to understand any international benefits you might already have and inquire about additional options for international insurance packages. When traveling abroad, do not cancel your U.S coverage!

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the dollar limit of the amount of coverage provided for various services?
  2. Does the plan include:
    • hospitalization?
    • ambulance costs?
    • emergency room expenses?
    • visits to the doctor?
    • prescriptions?
    • medical evacuation?
    • repatriation of remains?
    • security assistance/evacuation?
    • other non-medical benefits such as baggage loss or trip cancelation?
  3. In the case of a serious illness or accident, is there coverage for a family member or close friend to travel to the country to be with me?
  4. Do I need to pay expenses up front and then submit receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement?
  5. What documentation of expenses is required? Does the bill need to be in English and the amount of the charges in U.S. dollars?
  6. Does the plan exclude any coverage that I need (e.g., adventure sports, pre-existing conditions, special medical needs)?
  7. Are there multilingual staff members available for translating if needed while I am abroad?

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance must be purchased on an individual basis and is not generally provided or reimbursable by the University of Minnesota. Common coverage includes:

  1. Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance usually provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable prepaid travel expenses in the event of trip cancellation or interruption. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to consider supplemental insurance options to cover losses if programs or activities are canceled. Supplemental insurance is also helpful if you need to cancel your participation in a program or return early due to unforeseen personal emergencies.
  2. Baggage insurance usually provides reimbursement for loss, theft, or damage to baggage or personal effects. Some baggage insurance policies also provide reimbursement of expenses incurred due to lost baggage such as the purchase of clothes or other items.
  3. Theft insurance usually provides coverage for the replacement costs of items stolen while abroad, such as a passport or camera.

Liability Insurance

Travelers should consider purchasing liability insurance prior to departure, which will provide coverage for any damage to property and lost or stolen items while overseas as well as damage to other's property for which you are liable. Your homeowner's insurance or rental insurance may also provide coverage or will be able to assist you in obtaining such coverage.

Finding an Insurance Provider

While there are many insurance plans available for travel abroad, this list is a sample of options to illustrate the breadth of coverage options and range of limits. Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement, as the policies have not been officially reviewed nor approved by the University.

Additional Resources

If you are an insurance provider with plans for international travel medical insurance, international travel, or liability insurance and are interested in being added to this list at the next update, please email Inclusion on this list is by reference or request and the University does not review policy options or vouch for the services provided by any organization on the list.

If you are a traveler who has feedback on any of the policies listed here or recommend an addition to the list at the next update, please email