Are international students required to have health insurance?
J-1 students and their dependents are required under US State Department regulations to have J-1 health insurance for the duration of their stay in the US under the J-1/J-2 visa. Read full J-1 and J-2 frequently asked questions.
What is a J-1 visa?
J-1 visa is a stamp in a person’s passport, required (except in the case of Canadians) for people who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents to enter the United States. The J-1 visa is intended for, among others, scholars who want to come to the US temporarily to teach in a college or university, do research, or both.
What are the insurance requirements specified by the department of state to maintain the J1 or J2 visa status?
The Department of State has established the following requirements for the type and amounts of coverage required to maintain J-1 or J-2 status:
J1 Scholar (Exchange Visitor Visa) Health Insurance policy must provide “medical benefits of at least $50,000 for each accident or illness.” It means that an acceptable policy couldn’t set a maximum lower than $50,000 in benefits for each accident or illness.
If a J visa holder dies in the U.S., then the policy must provide at least $7,500 in repatriation benefits to send the remains to the home country for burial.
The deductible should not exceed $500 per accident or illness.
The co-payment of medical expenses (the portion not covered by insurance that the insured pays him or herself) should be of no more than 25%.
If, because of a serious illness or injury, you must be sent home on the advice of a doctor, the policy must pay up to $10,000 for the expenses of your travel.
J1 Scholar (Exchange Visitor Visa) Health Insurance policy may establish a waiting period before it covers pre-existing conditions (that is, health problems you had before you bought the insurance), as long as the waiting period is reasonable by current standards in the insurance business.
If you elect to satisfy the insurance requirement through a policy issued in your home country, the policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of your government. Otherwise, the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements established by Department of State (an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or better, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-1” or better, a Standard & Poor’s Claims-Paying Ability rating of “A-” or better, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or better).
These requirements apply to both J-1 students and scholars and to their J-2 dependent spouses and children.
What will happen if I do not comply with the insurance requirement?
To underscore the seriousness with which the Department of State views health insurance, the new regulations require your J program sponsor to terminate your status in the U.S. if you willfully fail to comply with the insurance requirement.
Who is a “visiting foreign scholar?”
A visiting foreign scholar is a person who comes to the university temporarily, mainly to teach, do research, or both. The broad term “visiting foreign scholar” encompasses, for example, Fulbright scholars who come to teach, post doctoral research fellows, and visiting professors. Some foreign scholars are at the university for only a few days; others remain for three years. Visiting foreign scholars come to the University for academic enterprises, not for non-academic employment.
Visiting foreign scholars normally hold a visa known as a J-1 or exchange-visitor visa. Some people who acquire J-1 status are subject to what is known as the two-year, home-country physical presence requirement. Dependents (spouses and children below the age of 21 of J1 visa holder) are in a status called J-2.
What is the procedure for bringing a visiting foreign scholar to the US?
The prospective scholar must then obtain a “visa” from the United States embassy or a United States consulate in his or her own country. (Citizens and permanent residents of Canada need neither a passport nor a visa to enter the United States.) To obtain a J-1 visa from an American embassy or consular post abroad, the prospective scholar must have a Form DS-2019 from the American institute inviting the scholar.
What are the eligibility criteria for purchasing International Student Health Insurance?
Foreign students studying in the U.S. under age 55 who have a valid visa status in the U.S. and are registered and engaged in academic activities at a US school, college or university. U.S. registered students studying outside the U.S. under age 55 who are registered with a U.S. school, college or university and engaged in academic activities abroad (excluding home country).
Are dependents of student’s eligible for coverage?
Dependents (spouse and/or child under age 18) of enrolled students may apply for insurance with the student, or within 31 days of birth, legal adoption, marriage or arrival in country of study. If your dependents are not eligible for Student insurance, they may enroll in one of our other plans for people outside their home country.
May I purchase Student insurance if I am already studying outside my home country?
Yes. You may purchase student insurance regardless of how long you have been studying outside your home country, as long as you fulfill the eligibility requirements described earlier.
Will proof of insurance be mailed to me?
Yes. After your enrollment is processed, your Certificate of Insurance will be mailed to the mailing address you specified while enrolling.
How soon will the coverage begin?
The coverage will come into effect as early as the following day after you complete your enrollment online, provided you correctly complete your Online Enrollment and correct payment is received.
My school requires an Insurance Compliance Form or a Waiver Form to be completed as proof of my insurance. Can you complete this form for me? What should I do?
You should first purchase the international student Insurance. After your purchase (enrollment) is complete, simply fax your school’s Compliance or Waiver Form to us. We will complete it and we’ll fax it back to your school for you.
May I renew my policy if I extend my stay in my country of study?
Yes, as long as you fulfill one of the eligibility requirements described above. Send the appropriate premium with another completed enrollment form within 30 days following the end of the first coverage period to avoid a lapse in coverage. Alternately, you may complete and return a renewal form that will be mailed to you one month prior to your current certificate expiration date. The Study USA-HealthCare is renewable up to a total of 48 months.
May I go to any doctor or hospital, or must I use my school’s Student Health Center or a preferred provider from Study USA-HealthCare’s network?
For Foreign Students Studying in the U.S.: You may choose any of these. If you choose choose to be seen at your Student Health Center when it is equipped to treat your condition, you will receive the in-network benefit and also your deductible for such incidents will be waived. For other incidents, if you use a doctor or hospital in Study USA-HealthCare’s large preferred provider network, MultiPlan, Inc., you will pay a lower deductible and reach your plan limits more slowly than if you go outside the network.
For US Registered Students Studying Abroad: Outside the U.S., Study USA-HealthCare does not have a Preferred Provider Network. You may choose to be seen at the Student Health Center or at another doctor or hospital and receive the in-network benefit. If you go to the Student Health center when it is equipped to treat your condition, your deductible for such incidents will be waived. You may also use any doctor or hospital of your choice. The Emergency Assistance Company can help you locate a doctor or hospital in the country where you are studying.
Is a network provider located in my area?
Most likely. For a complete listing of MultiPlan Network participants please contact MultiPlan, Inc. at 800-557-6794 or visit www.multiplan.com.
How will I receive care at In-Network level if there are no Network providers in my area?
If there is no MultiPlan provider qualified to provide the care needed within a 50 mile radius of your residence, you may choose to be treated outside the Network by a non-MultiPlan provider. In this situation, benefits will be paid at in-network level.
Will my Study USA-HealthCare policy cover me if I travel outside the U.S.?
Yes. Study USA-HealthCare covers the Insured worldwide, except in your country of permanent residence, as long as you fulfill one of the eligibility requirements described above.
Does Study USA-HealthCare cover pre-existing conditions?
Sometimes. Pre-existing conditions are defined by the policy as “an injury, illness or condition which was contracted or which first manifested itself, or for which a licensed physician was consulted; or for which treatment or medication was prescribed, within 12 months prior to the effective date of the Covered Person’s coverage under this Program.
Pre-existing conditions shall be excluded from coverage for a period of 12 months following the effective date of coverage under this program unless stipulated by State or Federal regulation. A Covered Person must be continuously insured. The maximum amount payable for a Pre-existing condition is $10,000.” See Study USA-HealthCare’s complete list of exclusions.
Does Study USA-HealthCare cover pregnancy?
Yes, it covers the pregnancy of an Insured student or enrolled Spouse if the pregnancy begins during the coverage period. It does not cover the pregnancy of a dependent child.
What should I do if I want to change the policy effective date after I have submitted my Enrollment online?
Please send any corrections to us in writing by email, fax or mail and we will confirm the changes. When sending correspondence, please include a daytime phone number and reference your Online Order Transaction number.
Student Groups Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Group Insurance Plans
Who is eligible for a group plan?
Multi-national organization with a minimum group of five qualified employee’s
Who is a “qualified” employee?
U.S. citizens employed, full-time, outside of the U.S. and/or Foreign Nationals employed, full-time, anywhere in the world.
Does the plan cover employee’s working for the same corporation, in different countries?
Yes. For example, if you have one employee in the UK and one employee in Brazil they can both be on the same group plan.
Is the coverage portable?
Yes. For example, if you have a U.S. citizen working in Tokyo but travels or even relocates to Saudi Arabia, then the plan will follow them around the globe. (NOTE: A U.S. citizen in the U.S. full time will not be covered under this plan.)
How can the premiums be paid?
The billing structure is designed to accept payment in the following modes: monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual.