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UNH International Travel Assistance and Insurance Program Providing Vital Services and Peace of Mind While Abroad
When UNH student Brett Gallo, an IROP (International Research and Opportunities Program) student in Ghana, came down with malaria, despite having taken all the prescribed prophylactics, he promptly sought medical care in Cape Coast. He and his family were concerned about the quality of his care so Brett’s mother called IROP Director Georgeann Murphy, who, having been briefed on UNH’s International SOS travel assistance program, called them right away. The Paris SOS routing center followed up on her call immediately, and within 20 minutes, had made contact with a doctor in Cape Coast, who made contact with Brett, and then called Georgeann back with the reassurance that the meds Brett had been prescribed were appropriate, that his condition was improving, and that SOS would continue to follow up.
Brett was able to stay in Ghana and continue his studies of rhythmic perception and west African drumming, and there was gratitude all around, according to Murphy: “As you can imagine, Brett, his foreign mentor, his family, and all of us at the Center for International Education and Undergrad Research were enormously relieved by this reassurance—and the swift and efficient response. I have more trouble reaching my primary care physician in Dover than I had reaching a doctor for Brett in Cape Coast, Ghana via International SOS!”
If, like Brett, you experience a medical emergency or a natural disaster or security crisis, need a medical referral, lose your medication, or want to consult experts for pre-travel advice, UNH has a fully integrated program (http://unh.edu/cie/international-travel-assistance-insurance-program) in place to insure you receive the medical care and expertise you need, whenever and wherever you need it. In effect since last semester, and benefitting all students, faculty and staff traveling abroad on University-related activities, our community is already beginning to appreciate the full impact of these services.
After a close call with Anacardiaceae (cashew family) on the 13-square mile island of Carriacou, Grenada, biology faculty member and program director Gregg Moore also came to appreciate the peace of mind of having access to comprehensive international services: “One of my students developed an allergy after eating a fresh, ripe mango,” says Moore. “This despite my riveting lecture on the toxicity of Anacardiaceae, which includes cashews, mango, poison ivy and poison sumac…The student's face really swelled up and I ran to town to get her meds. I had the SOS card in my hand, ready to call for a consult, but was lucky that the pharmacist was very familiar with the issue and immediately prescribed the right products. The student was fine within 24 hours.”
For further ways the UNH International Travel Assistance and Insurance Program can offer you and your loved ones peace of mind, please visit the Center for International Education’s new and improved website (http://unh.edu/cie/international-travel-assistance-insurance-program). Below are a few highlights:
- All UNH students, faculty, scholars, and staff engaged in UNH-related activities outside the United States are eligible for this plan and are automatically covered.
- Emergency medical, security, legal, and personal services will be provided by International SOS, a premier international services provider.
- International SOS provides free pre-trip travel, medical and security advice prior to departure through their online portal and toll free Alarm Center.
- Emergency sickness and accident medical expenses are covered up to $1,000,000 through University Health Plans (UHP) with no deductible and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
- UHP insures medical evacuations and repatriations and political/natural disaster evacuations organized by International SOS.
- The insurance covers advanced payment to a hospital if needed to secure admission and provides reunion benefits for a family member or friend to visit a hospitalized UNH-traveler.
- UNH travelers on University-related activities will be able to purchase the same coverage from UHP and International SOS for accompanying spouses and dependents, leisure travel that may coincide with UNH-related travel, and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.
UNH is also in the process of developing an International Travel Registry to support our travel assistance and insurance program, so we can better serve UNH community members while abroad. If you have any questions after reviewing the website documents, please contact Beth Kilinc (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Center for International Education.