Medical Insurance and CISI
U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid
programs do not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States. Doctors and
hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Uninsured travelers who require
medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
That is why the University of Wisconsin System has mandated that all University of Wisconsin students
studying/traveling abroad under a UW sponsored program must enroll in health insurance through
Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).
In addition, certain countries require that foreign students participating in study abroad programs
purchase health insurance in their country; it is the students' responsibility to make sure that such a
requirement is in effect for their study abroad program. Students can check with their Study Abroad
Advisor if they are not sure.
Health insurance is included in the program fees. For most IAP programs, the insurance is provided by
Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and is designed for the University of Wisconsin System
study abroad and international exchange programs.
Coverage duration varies by program location and term, but generally will start a day or two before the
official program start date and terminate within a week or two of the program's conclusion. Participants
may extend their coverage (if the student continues to travel after the academic program ends) by
contacting Cultural Insurance Services International at (800) 303-8120 or (203) 399-5132 or by writing to
CISI at River Plaza, 9 West Broad Street, Stamford, CT 06902-3788. Please see the World Class
Coverage Plan brochure included in the student pre-departure packet for additional information.
If you need a full-time enrollment letter in order to maintain your current health insurance coverage,
please contact a Study Abroad Advisor in our office for assistance.
Their Brochure and Claim Form can be downloaded here. UW-Madison's policy number is # GLB
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding CISI Health Insurance
Insurance for Personal Property
You may want to consider having insurance to cover damage or theft of personal property which you take
with you abroad. Although occurrences are rare, you may encounter personal property loss due to a fire
or other incident in your local residence overseas.
Insurance company policies vary widely on the circumstances and amount of coverage for personal
property abroad. In some instances, your parents' homeowner's policy or your own renter's insurance
policy is enough to provide limited coverage. In other cases, a special policy must be purchased.
Check with your insurance company, or contact any insurance company which provides home or renter's
insurance to learn more about the extent of coverage possible for personal property that you take with