Health Coverage During Foreign Travel

Your health coverage, or that of others included on your plan, while traveling outside of the United States depends on several factors, including duration of travel and level of services required. Please see the appropriate section below based on duration of your travel plans.

Travel Outside the U.S. for Fewer than 90 Days

If you or your covered UVA Health Plan family member will be out of the U.S. for fewer than 90 days, you are eligible for emergency or urgent care at in-network benefit levels while traveling.

Emergency Care

  • For medical emergencies, rules against receiving the higher level of in-network benefits are suspended, as determined by the Aetna claims administrator
  • Emergencies are defined as sudden, unexpected onset of a medical or psychological condition with severe symptoms that could result in serious harm to if left untreated
  • Examples of conditions that require emergency room treatment include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Severe or unusual bleeding
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Suspected poisoning
    • Prolonged or repeated seizures
    • Unconsciousness
    • Severe burns
  • If a medical emergency occurs, you (or the covered traveler) should go immediately to the nearest emergency room
  • Hospital Admissions: Notify the Aetna claims administrator. If you are unable to make the call, have a family member, friend, or the hospital call for you
    • If admitted in an emergency to a hospital while traveling, be sure that providers request and receive authorization for any follow-up outpatient services—including surgery—by contacting Aetna at 1.800.987.9072 or 1.860.273.0123 if you are medically unable to return home to receive this follow-up care

Urgent Care

  • You may visit any urgent care center for treatment and be eligible for in-network coverage for urgent, non-routine needs
  • Urgent Care Visits: Contact the Aetna claims administrator within 48 hours or the next business day
    • Any follow-up care while traveling must be preauthorized by Aetna as in-network benefits to be eligible to receive reimbursement

Paying for Services

  • Pay foreign providers directly for services
  • Within 12 months of the date of service, submit reimbursement claims to the Aetna claims administrator for review for possible reimbursement
  • Contact the UVA Health Plan Ombudsman for assistance with submission of foreign claims as needed

Travel Outside the U.S. for 90 or More Days

If you or your covered UVA Health Plan family member will be out of the U.S. for 90 days or more, you should enroll in the Foreign Country Enrollment Program (see Resources below).

Before You Leave

  • Complete a Foreign Country Enrollment Form and send it to the UVA Benefits Office of the Human Resources Service Team before leaving the U.S.
  • If you will need any prescriptions beyond a 90-day supply, contact the Human Resources Service Team for a prescription medication vacation override with Optum or to get Aetna approval if you are in the Basic Health plan
    • Set up a secure member account through Aetna Navigator and try out the secure email service prior to traveling

While Traveling

  • With foreign country enrollment you will need to do the following:
    • Pay foreign providers directly
    • Contact Aetna for any foreign inpatient admissions, surgery, emergency room services, or complex radiology situations as soon as possible
    • Within 12 months of the date of service, submit your foreign claims to the Aetna claims administrator for reimbursement; you will be reimbursed for eligible routine and emergency services
    • Contact the UVA Health Plan Ombudsman to assist with submission of foreign claims as needed

UVA Travel Management

TravelUVA is UVA’s comprehensive travel management program.

  • It streamlines travel, meals, and entertainment expenses
  • UVA Academic Division Employees get services from the UVA Traveler’s Clinic and UVA Pharmacy program through UVA-WorkMed
  • Services include a professional evaluation, immunizations, and medications required for work-related travel
  • Services are for full-time salaried and benefit-eligible UVA Academic Division employees only
  • The Traveler’s Clinic work-related program does not apply to
    • Medical Center Employees
    • Adjunct Faculty
    • Non-UVA Employees (co-travelers)
    • GME Trainees
    • Most Semester at Sea Participants
    • Wage and Temp Employees

Travelers must complete the Traveler’s Clinic Authorization Form and take the following steps to ensure the completion of pre-travel protocols:

  • Each submitted form must be an original form and not a photocopy of an old form with updated dates
  • Ensure that all fields and signatures are completed prior to faxing the form to WorkMed (fax: 434.243.0078) otherwise, you will be responsible for all clinic charges
    • After completing these steps, make an appointment with the Travel Clinic providers Dr. Erik Hewlett, Dr. Richard Pearson, or Dr. Tania Thomas at 434.982.1700
    • Visit the UVA Pharmacy for any approved vaccination/immunizations

If you have any questions about the program and eligibility, contact the HR Service Team at or 434.982.0123.


  • Aetna (Mon.-Fri.): 1.860.273.0123

    • You will reach their main switchboard and be directed to UVA Member Services
  • Aetna - urgent or acute care (after hours): 1.215.775.6445

    • This is Aetna’s National Medical Excellence Program and After-Hours Precertification number
  • Aetna Informed Health Line (24-hours-a-day all year): 1.800.556.1555

  • Aetna’s secure email via Aetna navigator

    • Set up a secure member account and try out the email service prior to traveling
  • Aetna Navigator information

  • Foreign Country Enrollment Form
  • Traveler’s Clinic Authorization Form