Due to ongoing work to transition to Workday Student, faculty and staff will be unable to submit a Tuition Waiver for 2024 summer credit courses after July 31, 2024. Learn more

Being prepared before, during, & after your trip

Be a well-prepared traveller, whether you are planning a holiday with your family or a trip for business. Prepare for your trip by reviewing the following tips and guidelines so that you know what to do if medical situations arise when you’re abroad.

Review our Preparing for Travel checklist for easy reference.

Before your trip

Pack your health insurance information. This should include your:

Review your benefits coverage. We’ve summarized the highlights of your UBC benefits coverage, and you should also refer to the Sun Life benefit booklet for your employee group. Your travel benefits coverage falls under the Extended Health Plan and your lifetime maximum under this Plan is $2,000,000 per person. To learn what the Extended Health Plan balance is for you and/or each of your covered dependents, contact Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212 or 1-800-661-7334.

UBC is able to provide information about your coverage through the UBC group plans while travelling outside of BC; however, the decision to purchase additional medical or other insurance is yours to make. If you speak with your travel agent or insurance broker about additional coverage while travelling, have them refer to the Sun Life benefit booklet for your employee group. Note that coverage and exclusions and limitations vary across plans so it is important you read and understand your benefit coverage and conditions.

Fill your prescriptions if you take any medication on an ongoing basis. For a single purchase, you will be reimbursed for a 34-day supply and for maintenance drugs, you will be reimbursed for a 100-day supply. If you will be out of BC or Canada for a longer period of time and require more than a 34-day supply (or 100-day supply for maintenance drugs), pay the entire cost of the prescription at the pharmacy and then make an extended health claim to Sun Life at the end of each 34- or 100-day period. You must submit the same receipt at the end of each period to be reimbursed for your 34-day or 100-day supply (be sure to make a copy of the original receipt before you send your first claim).

  • Note: If you purchase prescription drugs while outside the country, you can submit these expenses for reimbursement using a paper claim form when you return. The receipt must be in English and converted to Canadian dollars. While prescription drugs can be reimbursed, any doctor’s fees to write the prescription will not. Doctor’s fees are only covered in the event of an unexpected medical emergency. Going to a doctor to obtain a prescription for any medication you are taking on an ongoing basis is not considered a medical emergency.

Talk to your doctor if you have a medical condition and wish to travel. If you want to clarify your coverage while travelling outside of BC or Canada, contact Sun Life directly at 1-800-361-6212 or 1-800-661-7334 or send a secure e-mail via mysunlife.ca.

  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will be covered for emergency medical expenses related to that condition if it was stable and controlled at the time of departure from Canada and your doctor has cleared travel. It is strongly recommended you obtain a letter from your doctor clearing travel or request a note to your file.
  • If you are pregnant, you are only covered for related emergency services. You are not covered for regular prenatal check-ups or for travelling to another province or country with the intention to give birth. If you, or your covered spouse, is travelling while pregnant and close to the expected due date, it is recommended that the pregnant person be cleared for travel by their doctor.

Contact the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) if you are going to be absent from BC for more than six months of a calendar year. MSP will allow:

  • a total absence of seven months per calendar year for vacation purposes under certain conditions and
  • with approval, temporary extended absences of up to 24 months once in a 60-month period for work or vacation.

Learn more about temporary absences from BC.

Provide your family members and travelling companions with details of your health insurance. Visit mysunlife.ca or my Sun Life mobile app to get extra Travel Cards, which contain vital contact information for Global Excel Management, the 24-hour emergency travel assistance service provider that you or the person you will travelling with will need to call if there is a medical emergency.

Check the travel report and health notices for your destination and all the points you will be visiting in-between. You will want to look at:

Learn more about Travel Advisories.

Determine if you need immunizations and/or are required to carry vaccination certificates when travelling to specific countries or areas.

Review the UBC Travel Policy. If you are travelling for work, review Policy FM8 – Business Expenses (formerly Policy #83) and note the exclusions that apply to the Accidental Death and Dismemberment business travel insurance plan.

Review WorkSafe BC Coverage. UBC faculty and staff who will be working outside of BC should contact Aidan Gregory aidan.gregory@ubc.ca for more information. 

Explore other travel-related information. The following web sites are a useful resource:

During your trip

Carry your Sun Life coverage card and BC Services Card, along with the your Travel Card that contains Global Excel Management phone number, in your wallet at all times.

If you’re heading out to do field research or travelling to a venue for work, remember to review the WorkSafe BC guidelines and determine what safety precautions you may need to take.

If your travel destination becomes unsafe during your visit, check the national travel advisories for information on whether to stay or leave. In some cases, if you choose to stay, you may not be covered by UBC benefits.

Bookmark our What To Do in Emergency Medical Situations webpage – you never know when you’ll need it.

In the event of a medical emergency

If you experience a medical emergency, contact Global Excel Management (Sun Life’s travel benefits provider). Once you make contact with Global Excel Management, they will manage your case and where possible, will assume all of the expenses directly.

Physicians and hospitals can also call to confirm benefits and arrange direct payment.

Global Excel Management's operations centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In the USA and Canada, call: 1-800-511-4610
Elsewhere, call: 1-519-514-0351 (call collect through an international operator)
Fax: 1-519-514-0374

Learn more about Emergency Medical Coverage.

Keep records of your expenses

Keep all out-of-pocket records of expenses for medical services or supplies. You will need these receipts for claim reimbursement after you return from your trip.

If you did not contact Global Excel Management before seeking treatment, you are responsible for any expenses required in order to submit the claim. These include fees for obtaining medical records, translating receipts into English, etc.

After your trip

Welcome home! If you had a medical emergency during your travels and paid out-of-pocket for services or supplies, you may be reimbursed for these expenses if Global Excel Management can confirm the circumstances of your emergency.

How to submit a claim for an emergency or non-emergency medical expense

Please see the Claims section for information on how to submit claims for emergency and non-emergency medical expenses you paid for while travelling outside of BC or Canada.

How to submit a claim for dental expenses

Please see the Claims section for information on how to submit claims for emergency and non-emergency dental expenses you paid for while travelling outside of BC or Canada.


The benefits information on this website is provided as a descriptive summary only. While the University has endeavored to accurately reflect its benefit programs, policies and plans, the information on this website does not create any contractual or other rights between the University and its faculty and staff members. To the extent that there are any conflicts or discrepancies between the benefits information on this website and the benefit plan documents (including group insurance contracts and benefit booklets) or any applicable collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy, the benefit plan documents and collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy will govern in all cases.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Locked A locked padlock. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Pencil A pencil indicating that this is editable. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Settings A single gear. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Unlocked An unlocked padlock. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.