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International SOS FAQs

Q. How can International SOS help?

A. International SOS provides you and your family with peace of mind. One phone call connects you to the International SOS network of multilingual specialists for immediate help in an emergency. International SOS services are designed to help you with medical, personal, travel, security information and legal referrals when away from home. Call International SOS at any time to speak with a physician or security specialist about simple or critical matters.

Q. How does it work?

A. Carry the International SOS membership card with you at all times. It includes the telephone numbers of the three major worldwide International SOS Alarm Centers. In the event of an emergency, call one of the emergency phone numbers listed on the card. For Dartmouth, we recommend using ISOS Philadelphia Call-In Center at 1-215-942-8478.

Q. What if I have pre-trip questions about my travel destination or questions about the current status in that location?

A. In addition to calling the Alarm Center for any pre-trip questions you may have, you can access Country and Security Guides from their web site Use your membership number as your member login. In addition to the information covered at the Pre-Departure Sessions and on-site orientation conducted by your program, the SOS comprehensive guides provide both medical, security and general travel advice, such as information on the standard of health care, how to pay for medical care, the availability of medications, safety of the blood supply, embassy/visa information, dialing code information, cultural etiquette and financial and voltage/plug information.

Q. Do I need to activate my membership?

No, your membership is already active. Simply carry the card at all times while traveling. Whenever you need service, contact one of the emergency phone numbers listed on the back of the card. You do not need to report specific trip dates to International SOS each time you travel. However, you can create a personal on-line account with SOS into which you can save medical, family and emergency information. Unless you input your information into an account it will not be available for staff in the event of an emergency. Medical and personal information can only be accessed by an SOS doctor.

Q. What are Email Alerts?

A. You have the option to sign up for Email Alerts. You can choose to sign up for medical and/or security alerts by logging on and signing up. Medical alerts are issued when there is an unusual health risk that, in the opinion of the SOS Medical staff, may negatively impact travelers or expatriates visiting a country. Security alerts are issued when SOS Security professionals have identified a security risk in a specific country.

Q. What if I need prescription medication?

A. If you require a prescription that a local physician cannot obtain, or you need to replace lost, stolen or depleted medication, International SOS will, when permissible by local law, send the needed medication to you. (Additional Fees may Apply)

Q. What if I am hospitalized?

A. In most cases, Dartmouth College staff should be able to assist you via our on-call emergency staff. However, if you are in a situation or location where you cannot reach Dartmouth staff, call the nearest International SOS Alarm Center. International SOS will immediately take steps to evaluate the care you are receiving and determine what actions must be taken to ensure your safe and speedy recovery. SOS will notify Dartmouth College staff immediately if you have not already done so.

Q. What if local medical facilities are not adequate for my specific requirements?

A. If you are hospitalized in an area where adequate medical facilities are not available, International SOS will obtain approval from Dartmouth College to evacuate you to a medical facility capable of providing the required care. A physician supervises evacuations, and when necessary, a medical specialist or nurse will accompany you during the evacuation. An air ambulance will be used when required.

Q. What happens when I am released from the hospital and still need help?

A. When your condition is stabilized and International SOS has determined that it is medically advisable to bring you home or to a facility near your permanent residence, International SOS will again obtain approval from Dartmouth and arrange the repatriation under medical supervision.

Q. Will International SOS pay my medical bills?

A. If you are unable to arrange for payment of medical expenses at the time of service, International SOS will guarantee and pre-pay all costs associated with your medical care. You are ultimately responsible for the costs of medical care and the ISOS case management fees (typically $300 to $750) and will be billed at a later date. (Some health insurers reimburse for the case management fees, others do not.) This is why Dartmouth requires you to have health insurance which will cover you while overseas. International SOS will also medically monitor and evaluate your condition and ongoing medical expenses during your hospitalization. In situations where medical care is critical, by activating SOS you authorize medical care as necessary, and acknowledge that you will be billed for such care.

Q. How can International SOS assist in the event of death?

A. International SOS will render all assistance possible to the College to obtain clearances and arrange transportation for the return of mortal remains. In such an event, Dartmouth College will be the point of contact for the family in this situation.

Q. What should I do in the event of a security emergency?

A. Call an alarm center listed on the back of your membership card, and a security specialist will assist you. The Philadelphia Alarm Center is recommended (1-800-523-6586 or collect at 1-215-942-8226), as they are specifically trained to address higher education emergency situation.

Q. How do I access up-to-the-minute information about security alerts, warnings and the latest situations?

A. You can visit this website:

Last Updated: 9/24/12