J1 Visa Health Insurance

Exchange Visa (J1 and J2 type) holders in the US are required to procure medical insurance to keep their visas valid. J1 visa health insurance provides coverage for unforeseen medical expenses in the U.S.

Medical treatment in the US is very costly and purchasing medical insurance for J1 visa is an effective way to pay for hospital and doctor expenses in the US. These plans provide access to a wide variety of PPO networks. These PPO networks include Coventry First Health Network and United Healthcare Network.

Once purchased, J1 visa health insurance coverage can begin on the date one specifies, as early as the next day. No medical tests are required to apply for these plans. If the sponsoring organization requires a waiver form to be completed our experienced service team will complete the form and send to the Exchange Visa sponsoring organization.

Considerations for Purchasing J1 Insurance

US Department of State has a set of minimum insurance requirements for J1 & J2 visa but sometimes the sponsoring organization may have additional insurance requirements for exchange students. So, please check if your sponsor (school, university or work-exchange organization) indeed has special requirements.

Our J visa insurance comparison facility on this page will permit the user to compare suitable plans, benefits, exclusions, premiums, benefits and policy cancellation terms. Several qualifying plans allow you to seek help at any hospital or provider and offer special incentives (cashless claims settlement, waiver of deductible) if the insured member avails services from healthcare providers within a preferred PPO network of hospitals and facilities.

The student health insurance plans are intended for:

    • J1 and J2 visa holders
    • Au pairs, interns and trainees
    • Government employees and cultural exchange participants
    • Individuals and groups participating in international student programs
    • International graduate students, scholars and educators
    • Dependents of international study program participants 

Review the New J1 and J2 Visa Health Insurance Requirements

As per the US government (22 CFR 62.14), the following minimum benefits should be in place:

    • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
    • Repatriation of remains of at least $ 25,000
    • $50,000 in expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country
    • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

Plan to be underwritten by an insurance corporation with:

    • An A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above, or
    • An Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-I” or above, or
    • A Standard and Poor’s Claims Paying Ability rating of “A-” or above, or
    • A Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.

Exchange Visitor Visa Insurance Features

Policy Limits for Medical (Hospitals & Doctors)

Choose from various options of $50,000; $100,000; $250,000 or $500,000 per injury or sickness. The US government requires at least $100,000 per injury sickness beginning 05/15/2105. 


Options include $0, $50 and $100 per injury and sickness. The deductible is often waived or reduced for treatment at a Student Health Center

Direct Billing

Direct billing is possible via PPO networks. Plans are associated with different nation-wide networks of doctors and hospitals.

Evacuation Benefits

Evacuation coverage to take insured to the nearest medical facility varies with plan. $50,000 is the minimum needed to comply with requirements.


Coverage varies with plan. Most plans pay up to $25,000 for return of mortal remains or up to $5000 for local cremation/burial. 


All plans are rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best. This meets the State Department requirement

J1 Visa Insurance Exclusions

Typically pre-existing medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease etc.) are either fully excluded or may have certain limited benefits based on the particular plan. Most plans will not cover for the following:

  • Preventative care
  • Eyecare
  • Foot care
  • Infertility and birth control
  • Sport-related injury
  • Injury or death from catastrophic events
  • Suicide
  • Cosmetic and experimental procedures

Popular Insurance Plan for J1 Visa: Patriot Exchange Insurance

Patriot Exchange is an ideal plan for students studying abroad or participants of cultural exchange programs. The purpose of the Patriot Exchange insurance program is to meet the U.S. J2 and J1 visa health insurance requirements for individuals and groups of five or more who are studying abroad or participating in cultural exchange programs. The plans are available in monthly increments with a variety of plan maximums and add-on options.

The Patriot Exchange plan allows you to seek treatment with the doctor or hospital of your choice. The plan also offers PPO and provides an online International Provider Access (IPA) with over 17,000 providers. Deductibles of $100 and maximum limits ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 are available. Patriot Exchange does cover pre-existing conditions. Consult the plan brochure for further information and terms of coverage.

The Patriot Exchange program also offers optional sports and trip interruption riders.  IMG administers the plan and Sirius International, which maintains an A.M. Best rating of A, underwrites it. The policy’s online application accepts payment by check, credit card or wire. You can submit your completed form online, via mail, fax or email. Typically, coverage starts the next day. Your purchase will be confirmed immediately after purchase or within a few hours via email once IMG receives and approves your application and appropriate premium. The ideal time to purchase Patriot Exchange insurance is before your arrival in the U.S. to ensure coverage.

There is a strong chance that you will never need your exchange student health insurance. However, remember it is a requirement for obtaining a J1 or J2 visa. Examine the many J1 visa health insurance plans for eligibility, coverage, exclusions and price. Choose wisely and enjoy your travel experience!


Patriot Exchange Group Sample Premium

$51 per month

for a 24 year old with $100,000 plan maximum

  • Ideal for groups of 2 or more on the J Visa
  • Policy Maximum choice of $50K, $250K, $500K per injury or sickness
  • $100 deductible per injury or sickness
  • No Coinsurance
  • Student Health Center $5 co-pay per visit
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage available to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens (limited to $500 a year with $50,000 lifetime maximum after 12 months of continuous enrollment)
  • Meet J1 J2 visa insurance requirements
  • Optional Adventure sports rider
  • Optional Chaperone trip interruption rider
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J1 Visa Health Insurance Abuse

Every month, more than 170,000 people are working, studying, teaching and traveling in the United States on the J1 visa medical insurance program, according to the US Department of State. The J-category visa is for non-immigrant, work and study-based exchange visitor programs and, through the scheme, participants are encouraged to broaden their horizons and get involved in US life. But not everyone has a positive experience with the J1 visa program. In fact, several high-profile cases highlight incidences of exploitative labor, dangerous living and working conditions, and even human trafficking.

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