J Health Insurance Requirement

Exchange Visitor Program regulations require that J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents carry health insurance meeting specific minimum standards (Code of Federal Regulations – 22 CFR 62.14). Failure to maintain required insurance coverage can result in termination of J status.

Because health care expenses in the United States can be costly, coverage in the amounts listed below may not be sufficient to cover all expenses for medical care, and higher levels of coverage may be considered. In addition, it is your responsibility to determine if you are subject to the individual health insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You can find more information about the mandate as it affects J Exchange Visitors on the IRS website or Envisage International.

Acknowledgement Form

All J-1 exchange visitors are required to complete the J Health Insurance Acknowledgment Form to certify understanding of the requirements and that the minimums will be maintained for the duration of the J program for the J-1 and any J-2 dependents in the U.S.


Health Insurance Standards

Minimum coverage must provide:

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
  4. Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Insurance policies secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:

  1. May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions that is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
  2. May include provisions for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
  3. Must not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.

Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:

  1. Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A−” or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A−” or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of “A−” or above; a Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
  2. Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country; or
  3. Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
  4. Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization or eligible Competitive Medical Plan as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Coverage for Those Eligible for a WashU Benefits Plan

Benefits Options

When enrolling for a WashU employee benefits plan, be aware that not all of the employee plans are compliant with requirements. Note that the high deductible and basic plans do not meet the J requirements. If you want to choose a WashU employee plan, you must choose one of the following:

  • Choice EPO Plan
  • Choice Plus POS Plan
  • Choice Plus Excel PPO Plan

More information, including monthly rates, for the plans can be found in the links below. If you are a postdoctoral researcher, the monthly premiums are slightly different than for a staff employee, so please review the information carefully.

Coverage takes effect from the first of the month, so if you are not starting your position on the first of the month, you should purchase other J-compliant coverage for the period before you qualify for a WashU health plan. You must purchase coverage for a WashU health plan within the first 30 days of your employment at the University.

If you opt not to purchase WashU insurance, you will need the provider of the insurance company you select to complete the J Health Insurance Verification Letter and submit it in addition to the J Health Insurance Acknowledgment Form.

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Supplemental Coverage

None of the University’s health care plans provide coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation, as required by the J regulations. Therefore, the University has contracted with HTH Worldwide to provide a group plan for medical evacuation and repatriation. You must purchase these additional coverages for yourself (and any J-2 dependents in the U.S.) to remain compliant with the J insurance requirements.

The cost of this coverage is $6 per month per person, and the plan coverage can be purchased in monthly increments up to one year at a time. To enroll in this coverage, go to https://www.hthstudents.com/ and enter the WashU J group plan access code (kzc-38035) in the Enroll box and submit. You may pay with a credit card online or print out the enrollment form and send it with your check to HTH Worldwide.

Coverage for Those Not Eligible for a WashU Benefits Plan

Exchange Visitors who are not eligible for WashU University benefits must provide proof of coverage (including coverage for any J-2 dependents) with a plan that meets the regulatory requirements of the J regulations before coming to the U.S. To provide this proof, and demonstrate the policy is compliant, the insurance company must complete the J Health Insurance Verification Letter. This form must be submitted along with the J Health Insurance Acknowledgment Form.

The following companies provide plans that are J compliant, but other companies may also provide such coverage.

International Students Organization
PHONE: (800) 244-1180; EMAIL: mailbox@isoa.org; WEBSITE: http://www.isoa.org; Conformity Unlimited (ACA compliant)
Compass Benefits Group
PHONE: (800) 767-0169; EMAIL: kkrause@compassbenefits.com; WEBSITE: www.compassbenefits.com; Benchmark/Benchmark Plus (ACA compliant)
The Harbour Group, L.L.C.
PHONE: (800) 252-8160; EMAIL: info@hginsurance.com; WEBSITE: www.hginsurance.com
HTH Worldwide Insurance Services
SALES: (877) 424-4325; CUSTOMER SERVICE: (888) 350-2002; EMAIL: studentinfo@hthworldwide.com; WEBSITE: www.hthstudents.com

 

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Supplemental Coverage

If you purchase a plan that does not have medical evacuation and repatriation coverage to the amount specified, you will have to purchase supplemental coverages for yourself (and any J-2 dependents in the U.S.) to remain compliant with the J insurance requirements. Therefore, the University has contracted with HTH Worldwide to provide a group plan for medical evacuation and repatriation.

The cost of this coverage is $6 per month per person, and the plan coverage can be purchased in monthly increments up to one year at a time. To enroll in this coverage, go to https://www.hthstudents.com/ and enter the WashU J group plan access code (kzc-38035) in the Enroll box and submit. You may pay with a credit card online or print out the enrollment form and send it with your check to HTH Worldwide.


For easy printing, use this this J Health Insurance Quick Reference.