Many U-M employees travel frequently for business and leisure. Some even live outside the U.S. for periods of time. Whether at work or play, your U-M benefits continue to be available to you and your covered dependents. Please review the guidelines below to get the most of your U-M benefits when you're outside the U.S.
U-M Health Plans
Health plan provider networks are the primary consideration when you live outside the U.S. Be sure to select a U-M Health Plan that will provide coverage and provider network flexibility in your area.
All U-M health plan members are covered for accidental or acute medical emergencies outside of the plan’s service area. For most plans, urgent or emergent treatment is covered with a $100 copay. The copay is waived if the plan member is admitted to the hospital.
U-M Premier Care
If you are enrolled in U-M Premier Care and will be out of the service area for 60 days or more, you must enroll in a different U-M health plan. The health plan reserves the right to deny claims and terminate coverage if you live outside the service area for 60 days. See Moving Out of a Managed Care Service Area for details, as you also must complete a change form (a paper version is available here) within 30 days of relocation.
BCBSM Community Blue PPO
Community Blue PPO members are covered at the in-network benefit level when receiving care for approved services while outside the U.S., where no network is available. The BCBSM Community Blue PPO is the only plan offering this enhanced level of coverage. To obtain in-network benefits while outside the U.S., check for participating providers at provider.bcbs.com.
Comprehensive Major Medical
CMM is a traditional fee-for-service plan that offers access to the majority of hospitals and doctors in the U.S., as well as worldwide access to care through Blue Cross Blue Shield Global® Core. As an eligible Blue Cross Blue Shield member, you can use this website to find doctors and hospitals outside the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can also find other valuable resources to help you stay healthy around the world.
Benefits paid to non-participating providers are limited to a BCBSM fee schedule, and non-participating providers may charge more than the fee schedule allows. You pay 100 percent of any charges in excess of the fee schedule.
The department administrators can email the completed form to BCN at DocMgmtUL@bcbsm.com, however, they should be aware that the form must include the specific program date span (begin date mm/dd/yyyy, end date mm/dd/yyyy) and the department head signature. If the department head is unable to sign, the department administrator should include in the body of the email that the form is "an approved off-site registration for (name and ID)."
Business Travel Accident Insurance
All U-M faculty and staff members traveling in the U.S. and internationally on official U-M business (excluding everyday travel to and from work) are provided coverage for accidental death or permanent total disability. You do not have to enroll in Business Travel Accident Insurance. The university pays the full cost, and enrollment is automatic. Learn what you need to know when planning international travel for university-related business, or for personal or leisure purposes. Learn more about Business Travel Accident Insurance.
Request Extra Refills Prior to Travel
If you need extra medications for travel, one extra month refill of your prescriptions can be requested by contacting Magellan Rx at (888) 272-1346. If you need a supply for more than an extra 34 days, contact the SSC Contact Center at (734) 615-2000 or (866) 647-7657 (toll free) at least a week before leaving the country. Before calling, make sure your pharmacy has a prescription with enough refills for the duration of your trip.
Approval Required to Purchase Prescription Drugs Abroad
Regular purchasing of monthly supplies outside the U.S. for plan members who live outside the U.S. must be pre-approved by the U-M Prescription Drug Plan.
Purchasing prescription drugs for personal use in other countries and transporting them into the U.S. (reimportation) is illegal in the U.S.
The U-M Prescription Drug Plan provides for claim reimbursement up to a 34-day supply when drugs are purchased outside the U.S. on an emergency basis while traveling. Download the University of Michigan Prescription Drug Claim Form.
If you are enrolled in the Davis Vision Plan and receive services from a non-participating provider, you will be required to pay for the services at that time, then file a claim with Davis Vision for partial reimbursement. Before your appointment with a non-participating provider, download and print a Davis Vision Direct Reimbursement Claim Form. Present the claim form to the non-participating doctor or laboratory at the time services are provided so they can complete applicable sections of the claim form.
Keep a copy of the claim form and your receipt for your records. Mail the completed and signed claim form with your itemized receipt to:
Vision Care Processing Unit
P.O. Box 1525
Latham, NY 12110
Legal Services Plan
If you are enrolled in the Legal Services Plan, you may select your own non-participating attorney by advising the MetLife Legal Plans client service representative. Call the MetLife Legal Plans Client Service Center at (800) 821-6400, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. MetLife Legal Plans will reimburse you for these non-participating attorney's fees in accordance with a set fee schedule.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Drugs or medicines purchased outside the U.S. and brought or shipped to the U.S. are not legal and therefore not eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
Long-Term Disability Plan
U-M’s long-term disability plan benefits are distributed in the same manner whether you live in the U.S. or abroad. A reminder: You are still required to abide by the terms of the plan, including providing updated medical documentation at least annually to confirm your continued eligibility. If you are enrolled in other university benefit plans, the rules of service for each respective plan apply.
Retirement Savings Plans
TIAA and Fidelity Investments have international reach and are fully capable to administer your financial investments while you are briefly out of the country, or if you permanently relocate to another part of the world. Contact TIAA and Fidelity before you leave the U.S. to ensure you have information for international contact by phone, internet and mail. Address any questions about taking distributions from your account while abroad to a qualified financial adviser.
Schedule a virtual, phone or in-person consultation in the U.S. with TIAA and/or Fidelity:
Visit tiaa.org/schedulenow or call 800-732-8353, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., EST
Visit netbenefits.com/uofm or call 800-642-7131, weekdays from 8 a.m. to midnight, EST
Keep Your Address Up-to-Date
If you move to a new address – in the U.S. or in another country – be sure to keep your address up-to-date with the university. See Remember to Update Your Address for details.
Update Your Beneficiaries
When evaluating any financial asset, make sure your beneficiary information is current for your retirement accounts and life insurance policies. It takes just a few minutes – and can save considerable money, stress and family strife.