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Endowed health plans improve for business travel abroad

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz

Enhanced coverage for international travel on university business will begin July 1 at no extra cost under the endowed health plans administered by Aetna on the Ithaca campus and the health plans at the Weill Cornell Medical College campus.

International travelers currently covered on an Aetna plan (such as the Cornell Program for Healthy Living, Aetna Health Savings Account, Aetna Open Choice PPO and Aetna 80/20) will be able to access help for medical attention through Aetna International, a unit that specializes in corporate travel.

Aetna International can communicate in more than 30 languages; has five regional offices worldwide; and offers 24/7 live phone access anywhere in the world. Travelers can access a network of some 71,000 health care providers in more than 165 countries. Medical services are paid in local currency, often leaving the traveler with no out-of-pocket expenses. Once the traveler returns to the United States, in most cases it will not be necessary to file claims for covered expenses, as the financial transactions will have been completed when the traveler sought service.

There are some limitations and exclusions, but the plan covers family members currently covered who are traveling with the faculty or staff member. The policy also covers such travelers on vacation time as long as the vacation time is appended to an approved business trip.  

By July 1, the Benefit Services website will have an ID-type card with Aetna International contact information that can be printed out by those traveling internationally on Cornell business. 

For more information, contact the Benefits Resource Center at 607-255-3936 or send a message to

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Nancy Doolittle