Health Insurance Requirements for Exchange Visitors

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The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations governing Exchange Visitor Program (22CFR62.14) requires that the EV and his/her J-2 dependent obtain health, accident, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains insurance. A qualifying insurance policy MUST provide:

  • Medical benefits of $100,000 per accident or illness.
  • An annual deductible not exceeding $500.
  • $10,000 minimum coverage for expenses associated with the medical evacuation to the visitor’s home country. (international only)
  • $7,500 minimum coverage for expenses associated with repatriation of remains to exchange visitor's home country. (international only)
  • Pre-existing conditions must be covered after a 12-month waiting period.
  • Coverage may include a provision for maximum 25% coinsurance or co-payment paid by the visitor. Coinsurance must allow for customary & reasonable charges in US dollars, not equivalent cost for services in home country.
  • Coverage cannot exclude benefits for perils inherent to the activities of the program in which the visitor participates.
  • Policy must be underwritten by an insurance corporation meeting the US Department of State rating requirements or backed by the full faith and credit of the visitor's home country government, designated sponsor, or exchange visitor's employee group plan.

The insurance policy must be underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A-“ or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-“ or above, a Standard & Poor’s Claims paying Ability of “A-“ or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above, or the “A-” rating by Fitch Ratings, Inc. and the “A3” rating by Moody's Investor Services. Insurance coverage backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country shall be deemed to meet this requirement.

Any exchange visitor who willfully refuses to comply with this requirement shall be considered to be in violation of his/her exchange visitor status. The program sponsor is obligated to inform the State Department of the exchange visitor’s noncompliance.

J-1 Exchange Visitors must provide OISS with a copy of proof of insurance within 10 business days of reporting their arrival, along with the ‌Mandatory Health Insurance Certification. Appropriate forms of proof include insurance cards, forms listing coverage, enrollment confirmation in English.

Health Insurance Resources is a list of health insurance companies that offer insurance that meets the requirements for J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents. This list is not complete and J-1 scholars should feel free to do their own web search to determine the best plan for them.