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 before you travel to the United States or after you arrive, but the plan must cover your entire stay. J-1 scholars can choose from three options for obtaining adequate health insurance:

  • MU employee benefit plans: Available to J-1 scholars who are paid by the University of Missouri, such as post-doctoral fellows paid by the host department. Contact your department for information on how to sign up. MU provides three different health insurance options for employees, but note that the Health Savings Plan does not meet the Department of State minimum policy requirements for J-1 exchange visitors. None of the MU employee benefit plans include the required medical evacuation and repatriation insurance — you must purchase this separately. See an assessment of the MU plans.
  • Aetna Student Health visiting scholar insurance plan: This plan meets all of the minimum requirements and is available through International Student and Scholar Services. You can download the enrollment form or pick one up when you check in. This policy is not mandatory and can be expensive if you add dependents. J-2 dependents (spouses and children) cannot be covered by Aetna unless the J-1 scholar 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 the insurance plan in English.

For any option, you must provide proof of your coverage by providing ISSS with a copy of your enrollment form and payment. 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 scholar and their spouses can receive medical care at the Student Health Center using their regular medical insurance. Children are not eligible to use the Student Health Center.

For more information about insurance requirements for J-1 scholars, you can review this nine-minute video.