About the AFS Participant Medical Plan

AFS provides international secondary travel medical coverage to ensure that all AFS participants receive prompt, suitable, and comprehensive medical treatment in the event of an emergency or illness while on an AFS program. Although the AFS Participant Medical Plan does not cover pre-existing conditions, it will cover treatment for any illnesses or injuries that occur while abroad. We recommend that AFS participants maintain their primary insurance, in addition to having AFS’s secondary medical coverage while abroad.

Global Medical Management Inc. (GMMI) is the medical claims administrator for the AFS Participant Medical Plan. In accordance with the AFS Participation Agreement, which all parents/guardians and participants sign, the AFS Participant Medical Plan provides secondary coverage for participants while they are on the AFS program. This means that AFS will pay for medical expenses up front to ensure that the appropriate care or treatment is provided in a timely manner. After these expenses are settled, AFS will try to recover these expenses from primary insurance sources such as private or national health plans. This helps AFS to keep medical costs down while providing a comprehensive coverage plan for the majority of participants who are not covered under any other health insurance. The AFS Participant Medical Plan is ultimately responsible for medical expenses if not reimbursable through a primary policy.

The terms of the Participant Medical Plan are outlined in the Participation Agreement (form #10 of the full application) and in the AFS-USA booklet entitled “AFS Participant Medical Plan.” Participants and parents/guardians should be sure to review the Participation Agreement and the AFS Medical Plan Information booklet. The Medical Plan booklet is mailed to participants when their applications are sent abroad for review.

The national office of the partner determines how claims will be handled in that country. This information is available to US participants and host families abroad.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the coverage described above, AFS has purchased seven Additional Benefits for AFS participants through Berkley. These Additional Benefits are not included in the regular medical insurance which AFS purchases; they are to provide specific types of assistance during or after the program.

These benefits include: Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Emergency Dental coverage, Emergency Reunion benefits, Trip Interruption benefits, “Tail” Medical Insurance, Permanent Disability Insurance and Bereavement and Trauma benefits.

Full details of the Additional Benefits are found in the AFS Medical Plan Information booklet which is provided to all AFS participants.

By going abroad in high school, you can change your world in ways that are both visible to you personally, and visible to your friends, family, teachers, and future peers and colleagues. Many AFSers say that their experience was “transformational.” They gain new maturity and independence, and develop a better understanding of what their passions and long-term goals are. They also share that they’re better prepared than many of their peers for the college application and interview process.

There are practical benefits to going abroad in high school too, like gaining language fluency, developing critical intercultural communication skills, and forming lifelong connections that span the globe and often last a lifetime.

The impact of going abroad is different for everyone. Call our AFS Study Abroad Specialists or visit Ask an AFSer on Facebook to learn more.