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Travel Insurance

SPECIAL ALERT

Due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Carolina is prohibiting university-affiliated travel outside the state of North Carolina. Please see the UNC COVID-19 website, the Carolina Together Roadmap for Fall 2020 and the resources below for additional guidance and travel restrictions.

Special Insurance Guidance for Students Returning from Overseas Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Students who were enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield GeoBlue travel health insurance are eligible to enroll in the U.S.-based StudentBlue Plan. Loss of GeoBlue is considered a qualifying life event to obtain StudentBlue. Students have 30 days from the day their GeoBlue coverage ends to elect coverage in StudentBlue. Coverage is retroactive to the date after the loss of GeoBlue and will be activated once the prorated premium payment is made.

StudentBlue does cover coronavirus testing at 100% and does not require prior approval. However, doctor visits to screen for COVID-19 will be covered the same as any other doctor visit, subject to the applicable copay, deductible or coinsurance. Student Blue members will also have access to telehealth services through MDliveTo begin your application, contact Vicki Warwick, vwarwick@email.unc.edu, and include your name, PID, date of birth, date that you are canceling GeoBlue 

Travel Health Insurance

As mandated by the University of North Carolina System, all University affiliates—students, faculty, staff, and others—are required to enroll in the international health, evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage for all University-related travel abroad.

The coverage is provided by GeoBlue, an accident and sickness policy that includes medical evacuation and repatriation of remains coverage, along with some political, security and natural disaster evacuation coverage. It is primary coverage with a $0 deductible and includes coverage for pre-existing conditions. It also covers inpatient care, emergency treatment and procedures, and medications.  As it is strictly a health policy, it does not include coverage for trip cancellation or lost baggage.

University-related travel abroad is defined as any activity outside the United States tied to academic credit or university sponsorship or where the traveler directly represents the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This includes but is not limited to independent and structured study abroad, internships and practicums for credit, independent and sponsored research and service delivery, conferences, workshops, presentations, public engagement, partnership building and stewardship, site visits, development and alumni activities, meetings with global collaborators, and athletic competitions.

GeoBlue insurance purchased through the University does not include personal or vacation travel.

For recommendations about safe and smart travel, visit our page on preparing for international travel.

Students traveling on approved programs offered through the Study Abroad Office or through a professional school administrator may be pre-enrolled in GeoBlue international health insurance coverage and, as such, do not need to enroll independently. Students who are uncertain about their enrollment should consult with their program administrator.

All University affiliates—students, faculty, staff, and others—on University-related travel are required to enroll in the international health, evacuation, and repatriation insurance coverage, provided by GeoBlue. The State Health Plan does not provide comprehensive coverage or as significant a value as GeoBlue when traveling abroad.

Travelers who need to purchase coverage or obtain additional information should contact Janet Hoernke in Risk Management Services and Mission Continuity at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu.

For more information for students or faculty and staff leading student programs, and to manage your coverage, see www.geobluestudents.com. For faculty, staff, post-docs, and other university affiliates traveling without students, see www.geo-blue.com.

Students may purchase coverage for personal travel as well, as long as it is in conjunction with an eligible University-related program. If personal travel coverage is desired by students, then the requirement is a minimum of 2 days and a maximum combined total of 30.

Personal and vacation travel coverage for faculty and staff are not eligible under the UNC program. Individual plans for personal and vacation travel, however, are available for purchase online at www.geobluetravelinsurance.com. Please contact Janet Hoernke at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu with questions regarding eligibility.

The following countries require written agreement from the insurance operator prior to travel:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Niger
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

Please contact Janet Hoernke at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu to request authorization for insurance coverage to one of the above countries.


GeoBlue offers a mobile app where you can manage your health wherever you are by searching for healthcare providers, requesting appointments, setting up direct billing and providing proof of coverage. Use the translation tool to help you schedule your doctor visit or ensure you’re getting the right dose of the right medication. With the app, you can also view security profiles and read travel alerts to make your journey safer. This app is available after your enrollment has been processed. Instructions and an access code will be sent to enrollees in a welcome email from GeoBlue. Visit GeoBlue’s page on student resources for more information.

For emergency evacuation and other 24/7 health insurance assistance, call GeoBlue collect from outside the U.S. at +1.610.254.8771, toll free within the U.S. at +1.844.268.2686, or email globalhealth@geo-blue.com. In an emergency, seek appropriate medical care immediately, and then call GeoBlue. Insurance coverage must be purchased in advance of travel.

Visit our page on UNC-Chapel Hill’s travel requirements and policies for more information about emergency communications.

Trip Insurance

Trip insurance is an optional policy separate from travel health insurance. It can provide coverage in situations such as trip cancellations, lost luggage, damage to personal belongings, etc. Trip insurance is purchased privately and is available through your travel agency, airline, or other avenues online and is available for international and domestic travel.

Trip insurance may include emergency medical insurance and emergency evacuation/repatriation for an additional fee.

GeoBlue does NOT provide coverage for non-medical related items.