Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage
The United States Department of State requires that all exchange visitors and their accompanying spouse or dependents be covered by insurance for the full duration of the J-1 Exchange Program. These requirements have been established by the Department of State to protect the exchange visitor and his or her family. Program participants must have sickness and accident insurance for the entire length of participation in the J-1 exchange visitor program. U.S. Department of State regulations stipulate that any exchange visitor who willfully fails to maintain the required insurance coverage will be terminated from the program, and the Department of State will be notified. Any exchange visitor who fails to maintain compliance with insurance requirements is considered “out of status” and is therefore ineligible for extension of stay, employment, or change of status. The Form DS-2019 includes an insurance compliance statement as part of the certification signed by all exchange visitors.
Type of Coverage
Minimum coverage to exchange visitor participants and any accompanying spouse or dependent shall provide medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness; repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500; expenses associated with medical evacuation to the exchange visitor’s home country in the amount of $10,000; and a deductible not exceeding $500 per accident or illness. The insurance policy may include a reasonable waiting period for pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, the policy shall not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program.
Duration of Coverage
The exchange visitor and his or her accompanying family must have the required insurance coverage for the entire length of the program. Portal-to-portal (door to door) insurance coverage or traveler’s insurance for the interval between departure from one’s home country and arrival in the United States is not required but is suggested.
Insurance Provider for International Students
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has contracted with United Healthcare Student Resources to provide student accident and sickness insurance, called the USG Student Health Insurance Program (USG-SHIP), for undergraduate and graduate and ESL international students holding “F” or “J” visa status. For more information about the USG Student Health Insurance Program visit this website or call 404-962-3110.
Information about United Healthcare Student Resources and the USG plan are available at:
United Healthcare Student Resources
web site: https://www.uhcsr.com/
Students who can demonstrate that they have a qualifying policy through a spouse or employer, or other source may request to waive participation in the USG- Student Health Insurance Program. To determine if the policy qualifies, a USG student must request a waiver at this United Healthcare website.
Failure to Maintain Coverage
The exchange visitor program sponsor must terminate participation of any exchange visitor participant and all J-2 accompanying family members who willfully fail to maintain the required insurance coverage.