J-1 Insurance Requirement

Many international visitors come from countries where the government pays for medical care. In the United States, the cost of health care is usually shared by the person who uses the service and by an insurance plan. Medical costs are very expensive in the U.S. In fact, it is not uncommon for hospital bills alone to range from $1,000 to $100,000. If you are injured or ill and do not carry health insurance, you will be responsible for paying the entire bill yourself. In addition, medical facilities may refuse treatment to non-emergency cases without a guarantee of payment.

In order to ensure that Exchange Visitors can access the best health care options available, and to protect from the possibility of high medical bills, the U.S. Department of State has established specific health insurance requirements for all Exchange Visitors and their dependents.

All J-1 Exchange Visitors must be covered by an insurance policy that, at the very minimum, provides the following benefits:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness. 
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000. 
  • Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000. 
  • Additional Terms: A policy secured to fulfill the insurance requirements shall not have a deductible that exceeds $500 per accident or illness.

Note regarding the maintenance of insurance coverage: Willful failure on the part of an Exchange Visitor to maintain the required insurance will result in the termination of the Exchange Visitor Program of the individual(s) in question.

J-1 Exchange Students

If your current coverage does not provide the benefits listed above, you will be enrolled in the health insurance policy, that has been designated by the Chancellor of the North Dakota State University System for F-1 and J-1 students, for the entire program period listed on your Form DS-2019.

J-1 Professors and Research Scholars
Benefited employees: some Exchange Visitors will be fully benefited employees at MSU. But, the health insurance coverage provided through MSU does not cover Medical Evacuation and Repatriation for the employee and their dependents. Therefore, benefited Exchange Visitors are required to purchase Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance meet U.S. Department of State regulations through International SOS.

Non-benefited employees: United Healthcare is the current official health insurance provider for J-1 students and scholars attending, or working at, a North Dakota public institution. Exchange Visitors who are not receiving insurance benefits through MSU can purchase health insurance from United Healthcare for themselves and any J-2 dependents. United Healthcare health insurance meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of State listed above. The process to enroll in the United Healthcare plan will be discussed with the MSU Director of International Programs during the orientation meeting upon the Exchange Visitor's arrival in Minot. 

Page last updated June 23, 2015.