Travel insurance: all EF students arrive with coverage

Students are required to have insurance that meets certain minimum standards to travel on our program. Most EF students have travel insurance coverage through Erika and the following guidelines apply. Students with other insurance should refer to their policy documentation for details or contact their parents. If you are not sure what insurance coverage your student has, please contact the EF office at 1-800-447-4273.

Erika vs. Aetna Student Health

Erika Insurance Ltd. (or an alternative insurance company as defined in the applicable insurance policy) and Aetna are separate companies. Erika works with Aetna Student Health and the students have access to the Aetna provider network.


When contacting the doctor’s office, say your student has “Aetna Student Health” as it is widely known and accepted across the nation. US medical providers will not recognize a European company.


Please reference the policy booklet for complete details. It can be found at

Finding a provider

You can find an Aetna network provider at This website will show all in-network hospitals and physicians in your area, as well mental health professionals, urgent cares and retail clinics. With an in-network provider the copayment is lower, and it is less likely that the doctor’s office will require your student to pay for the entire bill up front.


In most cases, visits to clinics at retailers such as CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are often covered as well. These will show as in-network providers through Aetna’s website, though it’s recommended to give a quick call to the clinic to confirm coverage. Treatment at these clinics is often the most affordable and convenient option.

Important resources:
EF High School Exchange Year

24/7 support line:


Erika Insurance Ltd.

Download claim forms, the policy booklet and find emergency contact details.


Aetna Student Health

Aetna Student Health PO Box 14101

Lexington, KY 40512 1-800-783-7447


Support line: 1-800-783-7447


Find a provider or access Aetna ID cards


Insurance card

EF distributes insurance cards to students in their home country before they leave for the exchange. This includes an overview of coverage and lists contact information for Aetna Student Health and respective claims agents. EF suggests host families carry a copy of their student's insurance card as well.


Each student's unique Aetna ID number is generated one to two weeks after their arrival in the US. Soon after arriving in the states, students will need to obtain an updated Aetna ID card with their unique number. To find your student’s Aetna ID number, visit

Finding a provider

The Aetna ID number is what you should give to the doctor's office as the policy number. If your student needs to receive medical care before their Aetna ID has generated, use their EF student ID in its place. If your student has lost their insurance card, contact EF at 1-800-447-4273 or print off a new one at


Below are general guidelines on the coverage. Without specific medical information, Aetna Student Health or Erika will not be able to verify coverage and will ultimately make all final decisions on a case by case basis.

Routine care

Routine care, such as physicals, check-ups and inoculations, is NOT covered. Students who visit the doctor when they aren’t feeling well should remind the doctor’s office that routine visits are not covered, and tell them to send Aetna Student Health a bill explaining why treatment was required.


Prescriptions must be paid for up front by students. Afterwards, students can send in a claim form to Aetna Student Health for reimbursement. Both the cash register receipt and the medication information label attached to the prescription must be included. Students will be reimbursed for most prescribed medications except for acne, birth control or medication they take for a pre-existing condition. Over the counter medication is not covered.


Dental coverage is provided up to $200 for non-accidental treatment. Wisdom tooth treatment is covered up to $500. Temporary treatment for an injury as a result of an accident is usually covered in full.

Erika Sport

Please note that students are covered during all activities that are organized by their local high school. Erika Sport allows students to participate in risky sports and activities outside of their high school curriculum (i.e., on their own, or with their host family) that would otherwise not be covered should injury occur, including: skiing, alpine sports, lacrosse, wrestling, martial arts, four wheeling, bungee jumping, skydiving, parachuting, white water rafting, jet skiing, snowmobiling, etc.


If your student is going to be participating in any of the above activities, or any organized sports outside of school, please confirm that they do have Erika Sport. For those who don't, encourage them to add this coverage otherwise they will not have coverage for these types of activities.


Students are granted three weeks after their arrival in the United States to pay for the additional Erika Sport. For specific questions, please reach out to Erika or your EF Program Advisor.

Going home for an emergency

The insurance may cover a round-trip flight in case of death or grave illness of an immediate family member. The policy defines immediate family members as parents, legal guardians and siblings of the exchange student. Grandparents do not fall under the definition of immediate family.


If your student has a family emergency and wishes to return home, contact your IEC, EF support staff and the appropriate assistance company listed on your student's insurance card.

Medical treatment

Find a provider at

Contact your IEC whenever your student receives medical care.

Routine illness

In case of a routine illness (e.g., stomach flu, cough, cold, sore throat, etc.), students should see a doctor in the Aetna network or visit an in-network clinic at a retailer like CVS, Walgreens or Walmart. An in-network provider will charge a lower copayment ($20 versus $70).

Please do not go to the emergency room for routine medical care as students will be charged an additional ER copayment per visit. ER visits typically have a longer wait time and a more complicated billing process.

Acute illness or injury

Use your best judgement when acute injuries occur to assess whether an ER visit is necessary. Many broken bones, lacerations or sports injuries can normally be treated at your local urgent care facility. Your wait time will likely be shorter, and billing will be easier at an in-network urgent care center.

We recommend you visit the website listed above to proactively determine the closest in-network urgent care center in your community. If there is not an urgent care facility close by, a visit to the ER may be necessary.

For any serious mental instability, injury, trauma or illness (e.g., possible appendicitis, seizure, etc.), please take your student to the nearest emergency room and contact EF’s emergency line at 1-800-447-4273. Research local ER facilities and their hours of operation. If your student has Erika coverage, you can contact the appropriate assistant helpline, as well.

If your student is in grave condition, please call EF immediately. It is important that EF contact the consulate, who will pass this information on to the parents. Please do not call their family abroad directly.

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© EF Education First 2011-2021. EF High School Exchange Year is operated by EF Educational Foundation for Foreign Study, a non-profit corporation designated by the U.S. Department of State to operate a J-1 student exchange program. Note: Featured photo/videos do not include prospective students, and are representative of program participants.