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Health insurance requirements

U.S. Federal Regulations state that all J-1 exchange visitors and their dependents must meet insurance coverage requirements for the duration of their stay. Willful failure on your part to maintain the required insurance will result in the termination of your exchange program. All exchange visitors should be aware that they, and any accompanying dependents, may also be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (22 CFR 62.14(b)). All J-1 exchange visitors and their dependents are required to have insurance that meets the requirements outlined below.

Coverage Minimum requirements
Medical benefits $100,000
Repatriation of remains $25,000
Medical evacuation $50,000
Deductible per accident or illness $500

Insurance coverage options

You can purchase insurance coverage from a company of your choosing before you travel to the United States or after you arrive, but the plan must cover your entire stay. Visiting scholars can choose from three options in obtaining adequate health insurance:

  • MU employee benefits plans: Available to visiting scholars who are paid by the University of Missouri, such as post-doctoral fellows paid by the hosting department. Contact your hosting department for information on how to sign up. MU provides three different health insurance options for employees, but please note that not all options meet the Department of State minimum policy requirements for J-1 exchange visitors. Please review this assessment of which plans meet the requirements. Whichever of the plans you choose, you must purchase additional medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.
  • Aetna Student Health student/scholar insurance plan: This plan covers all of the insurance requirements and is available through the International Center (note that even though it referred to as a student plan, J-1 scholars are eligible to enroll). You can download the enrollment form or pick one up when you check in at the International Center. This policy is not mandatory and can be expensive if you add dependents. J-2s (spouses and children) cannot be covered by Aetna unless the J-1 is also covered by Aetna.
  • Other plans: You can purchase a plan of your choosing from an insurance company in your home country or in the United States as long as it meets the specified requirements. You must provide a copy of your insurance plan in English.

This chart illustrates these requirements as well as the different options available. For all of these plans, you must show proof of your coverage by providing us with a copy of your insurance enrollment form and payment.

Please note: If you are planning to extend your J-1 status, you must demonstrate proof of insurance coverage for the extended period before we will create a new DS-2019 for you.

J-1 scholars can use the Student Health Center if they pay the health fee ($102.21 per semester for 2016/17). Spouses can also use the Student Health Center for $125 per semester (if the J-1 has also paid the health fee). You can pay this fee at the Student Health Center.