J-1 Insurance Requirements

Federal law requires J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents to have sickness and accident insurance for the duration of the J-1’s program. Minimum coverage must provide medical benefits, a low deductible per accident or illness, expenses associated with the medical evacuation to the home country, and repatriation of remains, as shown below:

Item Minimum coverage
Medical benefits* $100,000
Repatriation of remains $25,000
Medical evacuation $50,000
Deductible per accident or illness* $500

*Note that not all health insurance policies or Health Savings Accounts available to UW employees through UW Benefits or the Washington Health Plan Finder meet these coverage requirements. Scholars must choose a plan that meets or exceeds these requirements. In addition, many of these plans do not include medical evacuation and repatriation insurance, and the Exchange Visitor will have to purchase medical evacuation and repatriation coverage separately.

Exchange Visitors should make insurance arrangements before departing their home country. Frequently, relatively inexpensive international travel insurance is available for purchase in the home country. Many U.S. insurance companies offer policies designed for Exchange Visitors, but benefits vary and policy details are often available only in English. It is important that the Exchange Visitor consider what type of coverage is needed and who will be included on the plan. For example, some policies provide coverage to the J-1 but not J-2 dependents. Some policies exclude coverage for pregnancies, or coverage for care received in the Exchange Visitor’s home country. Before choosing a plan, the Exchange Visitor should carefully consider his or her personal and family health needs.

Insurance Providers

Some insurance providers are listed below. It is possible to enroll in most insurance plans by completing an on-line registration form, using a credit card for payment. The policies listed below do not represent an endorsement by the UW. The Exchange Visitor is solely responsible for procuring and maintaining suitable health insurance.

A Statement of Compliance with the insurance requirements must be presented to International Scholars Operations (ISO) at the J-1 check-in session.