As an Exchange Visitor in the United States, under a rule effective May 15, 2015, you must carry health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program. 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).
The DoS regulations also specify certain requirements that your insurance must meet. These include:
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.
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, or inquire with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) for brochures on plans which meet the DoS requirements.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us for clarification and/or assistance.
Office of International Students and Scholars