• zInternationalStudents Blog

  • Saturday, January 19, 2019

  • Exchange Students and Minimum Insurance Coverage

    Filed Under: Health Insurance
Exchange student insurance plans are a bit different from regular international student insurance plans. The U.S. Department of State mandates certain minimum requirements for a J1 (visa category for exchange students) visa holder's insurance policy. Dependents of J-1 visa holders (J-2 visa holders) are not bound by the same restrictions, but keep in mind that the restrictions are there to provide one with good medical care.

Some of these requirements include a minimum medical coverage of $50,000 (or 75% of the medical expenses) per accident or sickness, a minimum of $7,500 for the repatriation of remains, and a minimum of $10,000 for medical evacuation in case of an emergency. There are also strict requirements for the ratings of the companies that insure J-1 students.

Insurance plans that are purchased in and backed by the home country are also accepted, with certain conditions. However, those plans may pose problems during reimbursements, with cumbersome processes. It is best to purchase insurance in the United States.

If the plans offered by the host institution do not cover any of these, one of the options is to purchase that coverage in isolation. For instance, many university-sponsored plans do not offer medical evacuation benefits. The exchange student then has the option of purchasing that benefit alone, or going in for the complete J-1 insurance from a different company.
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