J-1 Insurance Requirement

J-1 Insurance Requirement

Health Insurance Requirements for all J-1 Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars and Professors Under TC Sponsorship

As an Exchange Visitor in the United States, you must carry health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program. 

You can choose an insurance coverage* that is best suited for you and your family. However, the U.S. Department of State regulations also specify certain minimum requirements that your insurance must meet. These include:

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

 J-1 exchange visitors are required to provide evidence of enrollment in a medical insurance plan that meets U.S. Department of State requirements for the duration of program participation.

You will be considered to be in violation of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program if you:

  • willfully fail to maintain the insurance coverage set forth above or;
  • make material misrepresentations to the sponsor concerning such coverage.

    Government regulations stipulate that if you willfully fail to carry health insurance for yourself and your dependents, your J-1 sponsor must terminate your program and report the termination to the United States Department of State (DoS).

Teachers College Visiting Scholars 

J-1 Research Scholars who have been invited to particiate in the Teachers College Visiting Scholars program are not eligible for insurance through Teachers College or through Columbia University's Student Medical Insurance plan.  Such individuals should obtain adequate health insurance prior to arrival in the United States.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us for clarification and/or additional resources.

Office of International Students and Scholars

E-mail: tcintl@tc.columbia.edu
Tel: 1.212.678.3939

*Insurance policy purchased to meet this requirement must

-be 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.

J-1 and J-2 exchange visitors may be subject to the Affordable Care Act

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