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2/17/10 Peace Corps Health Care

While you’re a PCV, all health care costs are fully covered. Medications for pre-existing conditions [as long as you have it documented on your Peace Corps application!], visits to PCMO or any other doctor/dentist in the country (as long as PCMO OK’s it first), even airfare back to the US if you need to be MedEvac’d – whatever. It’s all covered during your service.

The fine print, according to the official paperwork:

A comprehensive immunization, prevention, and health maintenance program. Health support in country, including all necessary care for new conditions and accepted pre-existing conditions that are exacerbated or aggravated by Peace Corps service. [Footnote: Peace Corps provides initial care for all medical cnditions. Trainees or Volunteers with pre-existing conditions not disclosed to Peace Corps as part of medical clearance process are subject to medical or administrative separation. FECA benefits may not be available for these conditions.]

Emergency medical services anywhere in the world at any time.

Short term care for diagnosis and stabilization prior to medical separation when the Volunteer will be unable to return to duty within 45 days of a medevac or when the condition can not be accommodated overseas.

But what happens after you COS?

There’s a two-fold answer.

1) For the first six months after COS (or after you’re MedSep’d or AdSep’d or ET):

Peace Corps Health Benefits Program AKA127c Care AKA Seven Corners AKA Humana Choice Care [because it’s provided through the Humana Choice care Network]

This covers evaluations, testing, and lab work for Peace Corps related injuries/conditions, including dental, optical, counseling… The idea here is that any lingering issues that were caused by your service are covered just as fully as if you were still in-country.

The catch: You really really really should get it diagnosed in-country. PCMO will give you a form – a 209B or 127c form – that says, in effect, “Yup, this happened here, and she needs continuing attention in the US.” Without a 127c, it can be bloody hard to get it paid for. Even crazy things like parasites and diseases that don’t even exist in America, if not diagnosed before your return, can be hard to get covered. The health care money folks whine, “But maybe you caught it after your return!” That’s why Peace Corps gives us a *thorough* medical during our last 90 days in-country, including final screenings for TB and AIDS and a few other nasties on our very last days in-country (aka “72-hour checkout”).

Be sure to bring your 127c form (or 209B) and your Peace Corps Health Benefits Program Insurance Card form. Note to newbies: You get this your very firstest day in-country. DON’T LOSE IT. It’s a little piece of paper, not even laminated, but if you lose it… I keep mine with my passport.

Contact info for PCHBP:


P.O. Box 3370 Carmel, IN 46082-3370

But this only covers evaluations. The fine print:

PC-127C Authorization: Evaluation only of medical and dental health conditions related to Volunteer service. Must be used within six months of close of service.

But wait, you say, only evaluation? What about, y’know, treatment?

That’s covered under Parts 2 and 3.

Part 2: FECA aka Workers’ Compensation aka Department of Labor Claim aka ACS

FECA = Federal Employee Compensation Act

Treatment and ongoing care for anything diagnosed in-country or at your 127c referral visit is covered by FECA, via the Department of Labor.

(What does Peace Corps have to do with the Department of Labor? Got me. Is this confusing you yet? Yeah, that’s why I’m writing it all out – this is for my reference as much as anything else. When a PCV buddy emails me in six months and says, “Hey, what did they tell us about health care stuff at COS conference?” and I’ll say, “Um, wait, there was the six month thing, the 18 month thing, and, um …” and then I’ll look here.)

Be sure to bring your Case File Number and your Acceptance Letter.

Contact info: Billing & Authorizations: 1-850-558-1818

This covers ongoing treatment for whatever lingering medical concerns you have, forever…but the fine print says “contact the Post Service Unit for details”. So…maybe forever.

Fine print:

Treatment of most medical and dental conditions related to Volunteer service and conditions incurred or contracted while abroad during service are provided by FECA. Claims must be filed within 3 years of close of service or within 3 years of recognition that a health condition is service-related.

[[Note from me: My RPCV buddies tell me that this is the real sticking point. If it’s not diagnosed in-country, you have a wretched time trying to get them to “recognize” that it’s “service-related”.

Part 3: CorpsCare AKA Clements International AKA First Health [because it’s part of the First Health Network]

This is your post-Peace Corps health insurance, if you want it. Peace Corps will automatically pay for your first month. And that’s by the 30 days, not the calendar month. I COS on May 19th, inshallah, so Peace Corps has paid my premium through June 19th. If I want health insurance after that, I either have to find a plan on my own or continue paying for this one. If I stay with this one – as most of us do, at least for a few months – it’s $158/month [[as of February 2010. I’m really sure that this number will change.]] We get up to 18 months of coverage; after that, you’ll need to have a job or be in grad school or COBRA or something.

One neat thing – you can buy coverage before you COS, using your readjustment allowance money. Six months, nine months, whatever. And if you find a job with benefits before that time runs out, Peace Corps will cut you a check for the remaining months. In other words, don’t worry if you don’t have a bank account waiting for you back home. You can still afford your health insurance. :)

CorpsCare covers your pre-existing conditions, your non-service-related injuries/illnesses, regular well-woman / well-man visits, etc. Regular old health insurance.

You’ll get a CorpsCare Insurance card that you’ll need to bring with you to appointments.

Contact info: 1-800-605-2282

P.O. Box 863 Indianapolis, IN 46206

Fine Print: Non-service-related medical problems are covered by CorpsCare. Specifically:

* Most pre-existing conditions not covered by FECA;

* Conditions that arose that are not covered by FECA, e.g., while in the U.S. on vacation, home leave, emergency leave, or medevac;

* Health problems that arose after Volunteer service.

Peace Corps pays one month’s premium for all Volunteers. Volunteers may purchase up to 18 months of additional coverage.

Important Note: Both FECA and CorpsCare are under the general auspices of the “Post-Service Unit”, aka the folks in PC/Washington responsible for taking care of RPCVs. Their contact info: 1111 20th St, NW 5th Floor Washington, DC 20526

1-800-424-8580 x 1540 option 7

Fax: 202-692-1541

psu - at - peacecorps - dot - gov

…and that’s a division of the Returned Volunteer Services, Office of Domestic Programs. Same street address,.

Phone: 202-692-1430

rvs - at - peacecorps - dot - gov

You’d think this info would be on the Peace Corps website, but most of it isn’t. Which is why your friendly wide-eyed innocent is typing it all up for you. :)

* RPCVs = Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. What they call us after we COS. “Peace Corps Veterans” works for me, but the acronym would be confusing. :)


  1. Thanks for the info! I found this via google. Am learning how to process my claim, just got back.

  2. corps care has rejected ALL of my daughter's claims - parasites, vitamin deficiencies, low thryroid. they won't even cover her physical exam upon arriving in US because peace corps gave her a "clean bill of health."
    corps care didn't even respond to claims sent in by her physician until she called them, then they said she had to fill out a pile of forms which they rejected in entirety.
    she has contacted peace corps and her congressman's office is working on her behalf as well.
    shame on PC for selling this worthless insurance to their volunteers!!

  3. Whoa! Thanks! That sucks about the anon's daughter... but I can't say that I'm surprised.


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