Health Insurance

All Rice University students who participate in an approved study abroad program must be covered by a comprehensive international sickness and accident insurance policy while abroad. We strongly recommend a policy that is designed specifically to cover students while studying and traveling abroad. Many programs through a provider or host institution will include health insurance in the program fees and automatically enroll students in a comprehensive plan. You should check with your program as soon as possible to determine if you are appropriately covered.

For students whose programs do not include comprehensive medical insurance, Rice Study Abroad has compiled a list of study abroad health insurance providers used by peer institutions. We recommend that you research your options and coverage thoroughly prior to choosing an insurance plan.

Evaluating Policies

There are several factors that you should consider in evaluating coverage:

Covered items

The policy should provide coverage for:

  • basic medical care

  • mental health conditions

  • accidental death and dismemberment

  • medical evacuation and repatriation

  • individual, specific health concerns

Period of coverage

Be sure that you are covered for the full time you are abroad, including periods of recreational travel before, after or during breaks throughout your study abroad term. If your policy does not cover these periods, short term coverage should be arranged with a private company so that protection will be adequate for the entire period abroad.

Coverage of continiung treatment

Check if you are covered for continuing treatment upon your return home of medical conditions acquired while abroad.

How claims are made

Review the procedure for making claims from abroad. Typically, the policy-holder is required to pay claims up front and is then reimbursed by the insurance company.

Insurance coverage in your home country

We strongly recommend that you retain health insurance coverage in your home country, even while abroad. This will cover you both before you leave and after you return from your program. Should you have an accident or illness overseas that requires long-term care, you will have insurance upon your return to cover these expenses.

Keep in mind that if you have special insurance needs, or if you plan any travel before, during or after the program, you are responsible for obtaining appropriate coverage.

Please note that since you will be an enrolled, full-time Rice student while you are abroad, the same insurance regulations that affect you while you are at Rice will still apply. Rice University requires all degree-seeking students to have health insurance. Students who are not enrolled in the Rice Student Health Plan should submit a Waiver Form to indicate other insurance coverage is in place. For questions concerning the Aetna Student Health, contact or call 713-348-5544.