J-1 Health Insurance Requirements

All J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents are required by federal regulations to have medical insurance for the duration of their stay in the U.S. You may select the medical insurance that is best for you and any family; however, here is the minimum coverage that must be met:

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
  4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  5. An insurance policy secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:
    1. May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions that is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
    2. May include provisions for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
    3. Must not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.
  6. Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be: Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A-” or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of “A-“ or above; a Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country.

While J1 Exchange Visitors are required by federal regulations to have medical insurance for the duration of their programs in the U.S. (DS-2019 dates), it is advisable to have coverage from the date you enter the U.S. through your date of departure.  Also, the $100,000 is a minimum Department of State requirement.  It most likely will not be sufficient to cover medical costs should you have a serious illness or injury, especially if it requires hospitalization.  A maximum amount of $500,000 is recommended.  If you do not have coverage from your home country that meets the above requirements, you may select the from the options at the lower part of the page for you and any family; however, the minimum coverage stated above must be met.

Insurance options follow for Scholars, Professors and Student Interns for those not having qualifying health insurance from their home countries.  The UAF Office of International Programs and Initiatives does not endorse or recommend any specific company.  The following companies provide insurance policies that meet or exceed the U.S. Department of State requirements:
Compass Benefits Group
ISO Gold/Silver/ISO Med 1
PSI Health Insurance
Visit International Health Insurance

Note:  as of Summer, 2014, the ISO Gold Plan does not meet the Department of State coinsurance requirement.

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