J-1 Exchange Visitor Health Insurance Requirements

Federal regulations require all J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents to maintain comprehensive medical insurance meeting specific minimum requirements from the start date of the J-1 program (indicated in item 3 of the DS-2019) and continuing to the end of the J-1 program.  Coverage must continue without breaks or lapses even if the exchange visitor travels outside the U.S. for an extended period of time during the J-1 program.

As per the regulations, Colorado State University (CSU) is required to terminate the SEVIS record of a J-1 exchange visitor who: 1) does not provide the Office of International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS) with a valid Insurance Compliance Form by the start of the J-1 program; or 2) does not submit an updated Insurance Compliance Form after the previously reported insurance changes or expires.  An exchange visitor seeking to extend his or her J-1 program must submit an updated Insurance Compliance Form.  Willful failure to carry the required insurance for yourself and any dependents accompanying you will result in the termination of your J-1 program.

22 C.F.R. §62.14 describes exchange visitor health insurance requirements as follows:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness;
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  • Deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness;

Insurance policies secured to fulfill the requirements:

  • May require 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 visitor’s J-1

Please remember that healthcare services in the United States tend to be very expensive.  No responsible individual should work and live in the U.S. without insurance.

Information about Health Insurance for CSU Employees:

If you will be working for CSU in a position that makes you eligible for CSU employee health insurance, please be aware of the following:

CSU offers employees four different health insurance options.  The only CSU health insurance plan that meets the J-1 deductible requirement is the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield POINT-OF-SERVICE (POS) Plan.  However, if you enroll in this insurance plan, you will need to purchase an additional policy which covers repatriation and medical evacuation.

CSU employees may choose to enroll in one of the lower cost plans, including the CSU GREEN Plan, CSU GOLD Plan, or CSU RAM PLAN-HDHP.  If you do, please be aware that none of these plans meet the J-1 minimum requirements.  Therefore, you will need to purchase an additional comprehensive health insurance policy that meets all the J-1 minimum requirements including repatriation and medical evacuation.

For further information: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/benefits/fap-insplans-new.pdf

The following is a list of companies offering health insurance online:

          Associate Insurance Plans International, Inc. www.AIPInternational.com
          *BETiNS www.BETiNS.com
          *CMI Insurance www.cmi-insurance.com
          Colorado Health Benefit Exchange http://www.connectforhealthco.com/
          Compass Benefits Group www.compassstudenthealthinsurance.com
          Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) www.culturalinsurance.com
          *FrontierMEDEX www.frontiermedex.com
          *Gallagher Koster www.gallaherkoster.com
          Health Benefit Concepts, Inc. www.hbcstudent.com
          HTH Worldwide www.hthworldwide.com
          *Insubuy https://www.insubuy.com/j1-visa-health-insurance/
          *Insurance for Students, Inc. – IFS www.insuranceforstudents.com
          *International Medical Group (IMG) www.imglobal.com
          *International SOS https://www.internationalsos.com
          *International Student Insurance www.internationalstudentinsurance.com
          *ISO Insurance https://www.isoa.org
          *Seven Corners https://www.sevencorners.com
          *The Harbour Group www.hginsurance.com
          *Tokio Marine HCC www.hccmis.com
          *Trawick International, Inc. www.studentinsure.com
          *VISIT www.visitinsurance.com
          Wallach & Company www.wallach.com

*These companies offer repatriation and medical evacuation insurance that you can purchase separately.

Please note that ISSS does not review specific policies to determine compliance or appropriateness for your situation.  We recommend that you consult directly with your insurance company regarding compliance with J-1 regulations.  Furthermore, ISSS does not endorse or recommend one insurance program over another.