J1 Visa insurance requirements

The US Department of State has established the following insurance requirements to maintain the J1 Visa or J2 Visa status:

  1. J1 Scholar (Exchange Scholar) Health Insurance policy must provide "medical benefits of at least $100,000 for each accident or illness." Students with older $50,000 policies (Prior to 2015 J visa requirement) should be able to “upgrade” their policies this one time by paying the increased rate.
  2. If a J visa holder dies in the U.S., then the policy must provide at least $25,000 in medical evacuation and repatriation insurance benefits to send the remains to the home country for burial.
  3. The J-1 exchange visitor health insurance deductible should not exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  4. The co-payment of medical expenses (the portion not covered by insurance that the insured pays him or herself) should be of no more than 25%.
  5. If, because of a serious illness or injury, you must be sent home on the advice of a doctor, the policy must pay up to $50,000 for the expenses of your travel.
  6. J1 Scholar (Exchange Scholar) Health Insurance policy may establish a waiting period before it covers pre-existing conditions (that is, health problems you had before you bought the insurance), as long as the waiting period is reasonable by current standards in the insurance business.
  7. If you elect to satisfy the insurance requirement through a policy issued in your home country, the policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of your government. Otherwise, the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements established by Department of State (an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or better, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-1" or better, a Standard & Poor's Claims-Paying Ability rating of "A-" or better, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or better).
  8. These J1 visa health insurance plan requirements apply to both J-1 visa students and J-1 visa exchange scholars and to their J-2 dependent visa spouse and J2 visa children.

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