Penn State expands traveler insurance for faculty, staff

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Faculty and staff traveling overseas on any University-related business are now covered under the travelers’ health and evacuation insurance plan Penn State has arranged.

Beginning later this semester, University employees will be asked to register all University-related international travel in a Web-based system that the University Office of Global Programs hosts to provide safety support and accurate insurance enrollment verification. More information about this registration process will be announced this semester.

Gary Langsdale, university risk officer, explained that this international insurance includes both medical care and evacuation, providing “first dollar” coverage. That means that while standard, U.S.-based health insurance might typically require an employee to pay a medical bill upfront and then submit it to the insurance company for reimbursement, the University’s service will pay those costs upfront.

“If it’s a University-affiliated trip, it pays every dollar of every injury or illness-related medical bill employees incur,” Langsdale said. “It’s very straightforward.” An explanation of what is covered can be found at the University Office of Global Programs website at:

While the insurance had been available at a low cost, it is now free to employees and does not require any additional advance action for faculty and staff traveling overseas on University business.  

However, in all but extreme cases, employees should let the company providing the coverage, HTH Worldwide, know in advance of receiving care. HTH then directs employees to high-quality, English-speaking medical providers and hospitals where they can receive care for which HTH will pay directly.  

“It’s automatic,” Langsdale said. “They don’t have to enroll separately for the insurance.  If they need help that is covered by the insurance, all they have to do is call HTH or go to their website.”

The coverage also provides evacuation to faculty and staff in a country if a natural disaster or political crisis takes place.

Employees who plan to take a personal vacation while overseas on a University-related trip will need to purchase their own coverage if they want to have insurance for that part of the trip.

To reach HTH from outside of the United States, call 001-610-254-8771 or email For more information on University resources for those traveling abroad, go to the Risk Management Office website at

Last Updated January 13, 2015