Federal law [22CFR 62.14] requires that all Exchange Visitors (as well as their accompanying spouses and dependents) have insurance in effect that covers them for sickness and accidents during the time of their participation in the Exchange Visitor Program.
Inadequate, or a lack of insurance coverage may be catastrophic for an individual Exchange Visitor, therefore the Department of State requires that program participants (and their dependents) have medical insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits:
- Medical benefits of $100,000 per accident or illness
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
- Medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
Insurance must be in force upon the Exchange Visitor’s arrival in the US and Proof of Coverage will be required. Failure to maintain adequate insurance could result in immediate termination of an Exchange Visitor’s J-1 visa status.
Coverage options to consider:
- If the Exchange Visitor is to be covered under a US school policy, it will likely satisfy the medical benefit requirement. However, domestic health insurance policies generally do not include international medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. In this case the Exchange Visitor will need additional medical evacuation and repatriation coverage (see below). Proof of coverage will be required.
- IER manages a plan which meets the federal requirements and can include certain Exchange Visitor(s) on our policy with prior school/teacher agreement. This can only be done during our open enrollment period which is usually at the beginning of the school year or teacher’s arrival. Restrictions apply, contact IER for details and current rates.
- The teacher may purchase their own plan which meets these requirements and should provide proof of coverage to IER (see below).
- IER may ascertain that the participant’s policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country. Proof of coverage should be sent to ITES
These options should be discussed between the Exchange Teacher/Host School/ IER prior to arrival in the US so that insurance coverage is arranged and fully understood. See below for additional information.
Choosing an Insurance Company:
The links below are examples of companies that provide J-Visa compliant insurance. IER does not endorse any specific company. You are free to purchase the required insurance from any provider of your choice. Please contact the insurance company directly with plan related questions
J Visa Compliant Insurance (INCLUDING Medical Evacuation & Repatriation):
Medical Evacuation & Repatriation ONLY:
It is important to understand that a J-Visa compliant plan is not a fully comprehensive insurance plan as compared to other US domestic plans. It is a sickness, accident and medical emergency insurance plan that is designed to provide coverage and protection per the federal requirements. For example, it does not include vision or dental insurance, nor does it cover routine, preventative or pregnancy related care services. It does include medical evacuation and repatriation expenses as described.