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Exchange students and J-1 health insurance

All J-1 exchange visitors must have health insurance which covers the exchange visitor and his or her dependents. The insurance must cover sickness or accidents during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor’s exchange visitor program as reflected by the start and end dates on the exchange visitor’s DS-2019. The minimum coverage is detailed in the regulation located at 62.14.

Summary of J-1 Health Insurance Requirements
 Benefit Requirements
Medical Benefits per accident or illness of at least $100,000
Medical evacuation to the J Exchange Visitor’s home country $50,000
Repatriation of remains in the amount $25,000
Deductible per accident or illness no higher than $500
Co-insurance paid by the individual may be no higher than 25%
Purchasing Health Insurance

All exchange students will be enrolled automatically in UMBC’s student health insurance, sponsored by Aetna Student Health. This insurance is comprehensive, and it will mean you have minimal out-of-pocket expenses if you need to use it during the semester. However, it is quite expensive. The rate for fall only in Fall 2016 was USD 946, for Spring 2017 USD 1146.

UMBC’s University Health Services has approved an alternate insurance policy that meets both J-1 requirements and UHS requirements. It is substantially less expensive than the standard  insurance policy, but it has higher out-of-pocket costs if you need medical care while you are at UMBC. You can read more about the policy by ISOA UMBC Shield here.

Understanding the US Healthcare System

Not sure how health insurance in the United States works? Watch this short video on the US Healthcare System.