Health Insurance Requirement

The U.S. government requires that all J-1 exchange visitors and their dependents are enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets specific requirements.

Exchange visitors must have health insurance coverage from “Program Begin Date,” to “Program End Date,” as listed on your DS-2019. We highly recommend that all exchange visitors have health insurance that provides coverage from the date of entry into the United States through the date of exit.

Coverage requirements

  • medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  • repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  • expenses associated with medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
  • a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Health insurance providers

Below are several reputable health insurance providers who are familiar with the J-1 Health Insurance requirements:

Policy terms and conditions requirements

  • May include a waiting period for pre-existing conditions that is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
  • 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
  • Must not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.
  • A 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; or
    • Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
    • Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization or eligible Competitive Medical Plan as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.