Medical & Dental Information

General Information

APIA’s health (medical) insurance plan is administered by Cultural Insurance Service International (CISI) and is part of the Aetna Health Network. It is valid anywhere in the world except your home country.

  • Your Insurance Website & App – Use the myCISI app and the myCISI desktop log-in to obtain information about your insurance coverage, account and reprint your insurance card.
  • Your Insurance Card – You need to take your personal health insurance card with your identification number with you to the doctor. The card is attached to an email from ‘My CISI’ which you received at orientation. Search your email for “enrollments@mycisi.com”.  If you cannot find the email or you lose your insurance card, you can:
      • Go on the myCISI desktop log-in and print a new card.
      • Contact the insurance company by calling 203-399-5130 or emailingClaimhelp@culturalinsurance.com. Please include your au pair ID number in the email along with your host family’s name and address. (If you call you may wait a awhile on hold with no music or sound, this is normal.)

How do I find a doctor, clinic, or hospital?

The best place to start for any illness or injury (except women’s health issues) is an Urgent Care clinic.  They are open 8 am to 8 pm and you do not need an appointment (you can walk-in or make an appointment online).

Urgent Care Clinics 

  • Medstar PromptCare – Capitol Hill, 228 7th St SE, WASHINGTON, DC 20003-4306, 202-698-0795
  • Medics USA – 1700 17th St. NW, Suite A, Washington, DC 20009, 202-483-4400
  • Medstar PromptCare – Adams Morgan, 1805 Columbia Rd NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20009-2001, 202-797-4960
  • Medstar PromptCare – Chevy Chase, 5454 Wisconsin Ave. Suite 401, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, 301-215-9440
Virtual Urgent Care Visits 

Medstar Health is offering telemedicine eVisits. Please visit this link to find out how it works, the conditions they treat, and other frequently asked questions.  You will need to enter your medical insurance information. The cost is about the same as a visit to the in-person Urgent Care Clinic.


 Hospital Emergency Room

Only go to the Emergency Room at the hospital for a serious medical issue requiring immediate care. (For example, anything serious enough where you consider calling 911 for an ambulance or asking someone to take you to get care immediately.) For anything less than a true emergency, it is best to be seen by a doctor at an Urgent Care Clinic. If Urgent Care directs you to the Emergency Room, then it should be covered as an emergency.

If you go to the Emergency Room at the hospital for anything less than a true emergency, you will be charged an extra $500 non-emergency deductible by the insurance company

If you truly think you are having a life-threatening emergency, then go directly to the nearest hospital. Any hospital in the DC area will take your insurance.


Prescription medicine

You will need to pay upfront at the pharmacy. To reduce the amount you have to pay upfront, you need to bring your prescription discount card to the pharmacy  (you can download it by visiting: this website) or go on goodrx.com to look for the best price.

    • Present the pharmacist with your prescription discount card or code from GoodRX when you fill your prescription.
    • You will need to pay the full cost for the prescription medication at the pharmacy. Then, you send a completed claim form (link below) along with your pharmacy receipt (the one usually stapled to the bag with your name, name of medicine, and cost) to the insurance company. (Note: The cash register receipt on its own WILL NOT be enough, you must have the detailed one described above.) They will reimburse you for their share of the prescription cost. It will come in the mail as a check payable to you.
    • Click here to get a claim form
    • Make copies (or take photos with your phone) of the receipt and your claim form before sending. Keep those for your records until you receive payment for your claim.

COVID-19 Testing

  • DC government is offering free, COVID-19 testing. Please visit this website for complete information.
  • Your medical insurance covers COVID-19 testing if there is a medical reason (known exposure or symptoms).
  • Optional testing for purposes such as travel is NOT covered by your insurance.

COVID-19 Vaccine

  • DC government is offering free, COVID-19 vaccines. Please visit this website for complete information and clinic locations.
  • I do not recommend going to an urgent care clinic or doctor’s office for the vaccine. They may charge you an expensive fee to administer the vaccine and your insurance will not cover it.
  • Remember you do not have your full protection until 2 weeks after your second shot. Even with the vaccine, you can still contract the virus and pass it on to others. Continue to take precautions (social distancing, mask-wearing, frequent hand washing).

Medical Specialists

If you need to see a specialist please search this database for a doctor who takes your insurance: click here.  After you enter your zip code, you will be asked to Select a Plan, choose “Passport to Healthcare Primary PPO Network”)

Tell the doctor/care provider that you have Aetna Health Insurance when you call to make your appointment or check-in at the office. Always confirm that they still take your insurance. Immediately call or email the insurance company if a listed provider states that they do not take your insurance.


Counseling 

Counseling services are covered with a limit of $500. (This benefit does not apply to au pairs who arrived in 2019). If you have the basic plan, you would need to pay your $50 deductible, then 20% co-pay and the insurance pays 80% (up to a maximum of $500).

To find a counselor who accepts your insurance, search this database: After you enter your zip code, you will be asked to Select a Plan, choose “Passport to Healthcare Primary PPO Network”. Under “Find what you need by category”, select “Behavioral Health”.

Tell the doctor/care provider that you have Aetna Health Insurance when you call to make your appointment or check-in at the office. Always confirm that they still take your insurance. Immediately call or email the insurance company if a listed provider states that they do not take your insurance.

If you use up your counseling benefit and would like to continue seeing someone – Below is a clinic that provides discounted services based on your income. Print your participation letter in your au pair portal for proof of income to show.


Services That are Not Covered 

  • High-Risk Sports – Your insurance will not cover ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, or other “high-risk sports” unless you add sports insurance.
    • You can add sports insurance any time during your year.
    • It takes 48 hours to take effect and will cover you for 12 months from your date of enrollment.
    • You can enroll in your au pair portal. Ask your community counselor if you are having trouble finding the sports insurance enrollment link in your portal.
  • Preventive Care – Your health insurance does NOT cover preventive care, like the following:
    • Dental Care* (CISI medical upgrade plan includes some emergency dental coverage. Basic plan does not include dental.)
    • Physicals/Check-ups
    • Preventative Gynecology Care/Birth Control*
    • Vision Care (glasses and contacts)*
    • Vaccines (See info above on COVID vaccine and check THIS blog post for information on the Seasonal Flu vaccine.)

*See below for information on low-cost options for some of these services.


Women’s Health Issues 

  • Your medical insurance DOES cover medical problems (testing for a suspected STD, infections, and other gynecological conditions) as long as they are not pre-existing conditions. For gynecology problems, you will give them your insurance card and it will be handled like any other injury or illness.
  • Your insurance DOES NOT cover preventive care (annual gynecology exam, preventive screening tests or birth control). For preventative care, you should tell them you do NOT have insurance coverage for that and you are requesting the sliding scale or low-cost services.
  • These are three women’s health clinics offering low-cost health services:

**For birth control and other preventive care (annual exam, pap smear, breast exam, birth control of any kind), you will need to pay for the care you receive at Planned Parenthood, but you can ask for the “Sliding Scale” which charges you a cheaper price based on your income level. You should bring your participation letter that includes stipend information.

Please visit the individual link above to make an online appointment for one of these locations.


Dental Care 

Au pairs with the medical upgrade insurance have $500 emergency dental coverage. This would include services like filling a cavity or repairing a chipped tooth, as long as the tooth was in good health at the time of her arrival to the U.S.

For preventive dental care (cleaning) and/or au pairs with basic insurance needing any dental care, these are some affordable options. The following clinics offer a variety of dental care including preventive care and treatment for issues. Services vary from clinic to clinic. Discounts are available based on your income. Print your participation letter in your au pair portal for proof of income to show.


Vision Care 

These are some companies known for providing eye exams and glasses or contacts for a reasonable price.


Other Important Information

  • Do not panic if you receive a crazy high bill.  It often takes a month for the doctor to correctly bill the health insurance.  If you do receive a crazy bill, please contact CISI support at (800) 303-8120, prompt 5 or 203-399-5130.
  • Take care of yourself.  Don’t delay going to the doctor if you are sick.  I know this is intimidating, but you can figure it out. Perhaps ask a friend to come with you.