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Understanding U.S. health care and insurance

The U.S. health care system may be quite different from what you are used to in your home country. It’s not uniform, and there is no universal health care insurance coverage. Fortunately for most interns, CIEE includes health insurance as part of your program benefits.

All medical facilities and doctors accept payment through health insurance, but not every doctor accepts every insurance plan. CIEE insurance is through one of America’s premier providers, Aetna, and is accepted by more than 672,000 health care providers. If you need medical attention, you should always choose a health care provider who is part of Aetna’s network; otherwise, you might have to pay the full cost of treatment. We can help you find a doctor who accepts your insurance, or you can go to the CIEE insurance website and use our "doctor finder" tool.

Always carry your insurance identification card

Your insurance identification card is your proof of insurance and is located on your confirmation of insurance form. When you see a doctor, you’ll be asked for your insurance identification card and probably will have to pay a fee, called a co-payment (or “co-pay”). For most visits, CIEE insurance requires a co-pay of $50.

If you can’t provide your insurance identification card, you may be asked to pay more than your co-pay at the time of the visit. This can be very expensive!

What’s covered by insurance?

CIEE insurance covers some medical expenses, including emergencies and most sudden illnesses.

What's not covered by insurance?

  • Routine examinations, vaccinations, regular dental treatment, and vision services (take care of these needs before you travel to the United States)
  • Expenses related to pre-existing conditions. If you suffer from a chronic disease (such as asthma or diabetes), you need to ensure that your health insurance at home covers you for any costs related to these sicknesses while in the United States

A little confusing? We can help!

CIEE has a special team of insurance experts to assist you with information about your health insurance policy. They can answer any questions you have about your insurance plan. Send an email anytime.

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