J-1 Health Insurance Requirement

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International Services

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J-1 Health Insurance Requirement

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

As an Exchange Visitor in the United States, under a rule effective September 1, 1994, you must carry health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program (including Academic Training). 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) in Washington.

The DoS regulations also specify certain requirements that your insurance must meet. 
These include:

  1. minimum coverage of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness;
  2. a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness;
  3. "co-insurance" (amount paid by insurance company) of at least 75% of covered medical expenses;
  4. expenses associated with "medical evacuation" (if a doctor says you must be sent home) of at least $50,000;
  5. expenses for "repatriation of remains" (if you should die in the US) of at least $25,000. The policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of your home country government, or the company providing the insurance must meet the minimum rating requirements established by the DoS. Complete details of the insurance requirements are available from the Office of International Student Services (OIS) in L5 Whittier Hall.

J-1 Visiting Research Scholars and Professors

J-1 Research Scholars and Professors 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, or stop by the OISS to pick up brochures on plans which meet the DoS requirements.

J-1 exchange visitors are required sign a Medical Insurance Compliance Form sent with their Form DS-2019s, and return it to the Office of International Student Services in L5 Whittier Hall upon arrival in the United States. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call or stop by for clarification and/or assistance.

We appreciate your cooperation and wish you all the best in the coming year.

Samantha Lu
Director and Responsible Officer,
Exchange Visitor Program No. P-1-00189