J1 visa holders and their dependents must have adequate health insurance in order to participate in their respective J1 visa programs. J visa program sponsors must ensure that program exchange visitors have insurance that includes certain minimum coverage and benefits that cover them for sickness or accidents during the time of their exchange visitor program. Coverage must be in effect throughout the duration of the J visa holder's program period and stay in the United States. As per the US Department of State website, the J1 visa insurance requirements include:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains coverage amounting to $25,000
- Expenses associated with the emergency medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
- A deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness
J1 visa health insurance policies must also be underwritten by an insurance company that possesses one of the following:
- An A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above;
- An Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (IS) rating of "A-1" or above;
- A Standard and Poors Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above; or
- A Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.
Sponsors are to ensure that their J1 visa program participants and their dependents have health insurance that has the above listed J visa insurance requirements and is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the participant's home country.
Program regulations also discuss coverage through HMOs and self-insurance of the above requirements by federal, state or local government agencies, state colleges and universities, and public community colleges, if permitted by law.
J2 Visa Insurance Requirements
Dependents of J1 visa holders accompanying them to the US during their J1 visa program are subject to the same J visa insurance requirements. J2 visa holders are required to have health insurance coverage throughout the entirety of their stay in the US.
Individual sponsorship programs may have other specific insurance requirements, so be sure to check with your sponsor before purchasing a plan. If J1 or J2 visa holders fail to meet the necessary medical insurance requirements, it may be grounds for termination from the exchange program.
For a list of plans that satisfy these requirements, please visit the J1 visa insurance plans page.