If you experience a medical emergency while in the US, always dial 911.
The Department of State and J-1 visa regulations 22 CFR 62.14 require all Exchange Visitors and accompanying J-2 dependents to be covered by adequate health and accident insurance while in the U.S. Failure to carry adequate insurance may lead to termination of your J-1 status.
Minimum Coverage Requirements
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000*
- Medical evacuation to home country in the amount of $50,000*
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
J-1 paid by USC: *If you are being paid by USC, you may be provided health and accident insurance as part of the USC benefits program. Repatriation of remains and medical evacuation are not included in the USC health insurance plan. You will need to purchase additional insurance to maintain your J-1 status.
J-1 Post Docs at UPC/ HSC: Post Docs employed through USC are enrolled in Garnett Powers health insurance which meets all DoS requirements.
J-1 Postdocs at CHLA: If you are being paid by CHLA, you may be provided health and accident insurance as part of the CHLA Medical Plan. Repatriation of remains and medical evacuation are not included in the CHLA Medical Plan. Therefore, you will need to purchase additional insurance to maintain your J-1 status.
J-1 Non-Degree Students: If you are a non-degree student in a Direct Exchange Program and registered for classes full-time, you will be enrolled in the USC student health insurance plan which meets all DoS requirements.
An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with one of the following ratings:
- Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A−” or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A−” or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of “A−” or above; a Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
- Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country; or
- Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
- Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization or eligible Competitive Medical Plan as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
NOTE: An Exchange Visitor may be insured by a company from their home county. Please be aware that if you require medical care at a hospital or clinic in the US, you may be asked to pay up front and then be reimbursed by your insurance company.
Duration of Coverage
The period of required coverage is the actual duration of the exchange visitor’s participation in the sponsor’s exchange visitor program as recorded in SEVIS in the “Program Start Date” the “Program End Date”.
- Sponsors are not authorized to charge fees to their sponsored exchange visitors for the provision of insurance coverage beyond any demonstrable and justifiable staff time.
- Sponsors are not required to, but may, offer supplemental “entry to exit” coverage (i.e., coverage from the time the exchange visitor departs his or her home country until he or she returns).
- If the sponsor provides health insurance, or arranges for health insurance to be offered the exchange visitor, via payroll deduction at the host organization, the exchange visitor must voluntarily authorize this action in writing and also be given the opportunity to make other arrangements to obtain insurance.
Exchange Visitors should consider purchasing supplemental travel medical insurance to cover the first few weeks of their visit, as it may take some time before USC benefits or other insurance policies take effect.
Insurance Companies that offer J-1 Coverage
You are welcome to select the insurance company of your choice as long as their plan meets the minimum coverage requirements listed above. Two American companies which offer acceptable health insurance plans specifically developed for participants in international educational activities are:
Renaissance Agencies, Inc. The Harbour Group of Ohio, L.L.C.
Scholastic Insurance Services Phone: 1-800-252-8160 or 937-748-5200
Phone: 1-800-537-1777 Fax: 937-748-5208
Fax: 310-394-0142 Website: www.intlinsure.com/isp/usc