Consular Health Insurance Requirements for Exchange Scholar Visa (J1 visa)
- According to the US Department of State guidelines established for the J Visa program the following insurance requirements to maintain J1 / J2 status are:
- J1 Scholar (Exchange Scholar) Health Insurance policy must provide "medical benefits of at least $100,000 for each accident or illness." Students with older $50,000 policies (Prior to 2015 J visa requirement) should be able to “upgrade” their policies this one time by paying the increased rate.
- If due to serious medical illness or accidental injury, the insured must be sent home on the advice of a doctor, the policy must cover up to $50,000 for the travel expenses due to the medical condition.
- If a J visa holder dies in the United States, then the policy must provide repatriation benefits of at least $25,000 to send the mortal remains to the home country of insured for cremation / burial.
- Exchange visitor medical insurance policy usually have a waiting period before it covers pre-existing conditions (ie health problems you had before you bought the insurance), as long as the waiting period which is reasonable by current standards in the insurance field.
- The J-1 exchange visitor health insurance deductible should not exceed $500 per accident or illness.
- The co-payment of medical expenses (the portion not covered by insurance that the insured pays him or herself) should be of no more than 25%.
If the insured elect to satisfy the insurance requirement through a policy issued in the insureds home country, the policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of the home country government. Otherwise, the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements established by Department of State (an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or better, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-1" or better, a Standard & Poor's Claims-Paying Ability rating of "A-" or better, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or better).