J1 visa health insurance requirements
Benefits Current 62.14 Reg
Medical Benefits $100,000
Repatriation of remains $25,000
Medical evacuation $50,000
Deductible per accident or illness $500 or less

New J1 visa health insurance requirements

Health insurance requirements for J1 and J2 visa holders are specified by the State department. The sponsor and the J1 visa holder must ensure that the health insurance they purchase meets the minimum requirement.

There have been some changes to these requirements which became effective on May 15, 2015. Make sure that the plan you purchase meets these updated requirements (see table above). The new rule also requires that sponsors must inform all exchange visitors that they, and any accompanying spouse and dependent(s), also may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Get a quote above and feel free to call us for any assistance to choose a plan. If you are a J1 group sponsor looking for a group health insurance plan please call us at 804 325-1385 to find an affordable comprehensive plan for that meets the new J1 requirements.

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 $50, $90 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

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

Meet J1 J2 visa insurance requirements

Exchange visitors, such as scholars, students and au pairs are required to have comprehensive health insurance. Medical treatment can get extremely expensive in the U.S. When insured, the insurance plan takes care of the bills when an unforeseen accident or sickness occurs.  Plans cover the cost of doctor office visits, hospitalization, prescription medication, ambulance and diagnostic tests.

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

  • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000
  • 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.

Coverage can be purchased to 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, this can be done after purchase is completed. The J2 visa holders, including the spouse, and children of the exchange visa holder can also be covered.

Exchange Scholars and Students Insurance

The opportunity to travel abroad for cultural and educational reasons is an unforgettable experience for students. However, being sick or enduring an injury in a foreign country can quickly turn your educational experience into an unpleasant ordeal. Student health insurance is a smart investment and a required part of travel for students. Health insurance for exchange scholars and students is a requirement for the U.S. primary (J1) and dependent (J2) visas. The health insurance requirements for the J1 and J2 visa include:

  • Medical Benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of Remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  • an A.M. Best rating of A- or above

Because medical bills can be very costly, it is essential to purchase a plan before your arrival in the United States to ensure your coverage is active. Administrators of exchange scholar/student insurance include Seven Corners, Tokyo Marine HCC, IMG, USI Affinity, and Trawick International. These plans, underwritten by companies such as Lloyds, Sirius International, GBG Insurance Ltd, and BCS Insurance Company, provide access to a wide-variety of PPO networks. These PPO networks include United Health, First Health Network, Coventry PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Healthcare Network.

Buying and Using Exchange Student Insurance

Before you purchase insurance, check with the respective country you plan to visit to obtain the insurance requirements for exchange students. Also, inquire with your school or sponsor as they may furnish travel insurance for students studying abroad. If you do need travel health insurance to satisfy visa requirements, compare the plans that are available for eligibility, benefits, exclusions, price, coverage amount, rating of the plan, and policy cancellation terms. Check the conditions of your plan for specific details regarding the use of your insurance. Most plans typically allow you to select from a PPO network. A claim will usually involve filling out a form, presenting medical reports, and providing proof of medical history if needed. The student health insurance plans are intended for:

  • J1 visa holders
  • J2 visa holders
  • Au pairs
  • Interns and trainees
  • Government employees
  • Individuals and groups who are participating in international student programs
  • Cultural exchange participants
  • International graduate students
  • Scholars and educators
  • Dependents of international study program participants

Some health insurance plans for J1 visa holders include maternity coverage while others do not. Eligibility varies with each plan. More plans are available if it is the primary person (J1) seeking the coverage. However, if it is the dependent (J2) seeking the coverage, then more plans will be available if the quote includes the primary person. Please be aware that if the person needing coverage is already pregnant as of the effective date of the policy, then there will be no maternity coverage. J1 visa status does not require dental, or vision coverage and the purchase of this coverage is at the discretion of the insured.

Exclusions and Pre-existing Conditions

All exchange student insurance policies have exclusions to their respective plans. Be sure to research your plan thoroughly to determine what is and what is not covered by your insurance plan. Some plans will cover pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period. Most plans will not cover:

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

Many reputable insurance companies cover students traveling abroad. Most provide coverage for medical emergencies and evacuations with optional coverage add-ons such as sports and legal assistance. A leader in the exchange student insurance market is Patriot Exchange.

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. J1 and J2 visa travel insurance requirements for individuals and groups of five or more who are studying abroad or participants of 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, 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 that may apply. 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. This policy’s application for individuals or groups on their website accepts payment by check, credit card, or wire. You can submit your completed form online, via mail, fax, or email. Typically, the coverage start date is the next day with purchase confirmation immediately after purchase on screen or within a few hours with email after IMG receives and approves your completed 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 plans that are available to students internationally for eligibility, coverage, exclusions, and price. Choose wisely and enjoy your travel experience. 

J1 Visa Abuse

Every month more than 170,000 people are working, studying, teaching and traveling in the United States on the J1 visa 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. In fact, several high-profile cases highlight incidences of exploitative labor, dangerous living and working conditions, and even human trafficking connected with the program.

Read More

Patriot Exchange Insurance Plan

The plan meets the J visa insurance requirements. It provides benefits for evacuation, repatriation and medical expenses. The plan is available for J1 as well as J2 visa holders.