Health insurance requirements for J-1 scholars

J-1 visa holders are required to maintain health insurance throughout the period of stay in the U.S., for themselves and all J-2 dependents that accompany the J- 1. Failure to maintain such health insurance while in the United States will be considered a violation of J-1 status and may lead to termination of the J-1's legal status.

Medical insurance requirements for J-1 visa holders

If you are a J-1 visa holder, you must maintain the following required coverage for yourself and your J-2 dependents. The medical insurance coverage outlined below has been defined by U.S. federal regulations:

  • $100,000 of medical coverage per accident or illness
  • Deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation up to $25,000
  • Medical evacuation coverage to your home country of up to $50,000
  • Covers pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period
  • Includes provision for co-payment that does not exceed 25 percent co-pay by the exchange visitor
  • Does not exclude benefits for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange visitor

Must be underwritten by an insurance company that meets the rating requirements of the United States Information Agency (USIA) or backed by the full faith and credit of the exchange visitor's government.

Self-funded international exchange visitors

Self-funded exchange visitors, or those employed by the University of Nevada, Reno without health insurance benefits, should purchase the insurance prior to coming to U.S. We strongly recommend that all J visitors purchase a short-term travelers insurance to cover at least the first month in U.S. Even if health insurance is offered as part of the benefit package, the coverage may not begin immediately.

J-1 visa health insurance options

You have two options for obtaining the appropriate medical coverage as a J-1 visa holder. 

  1. You purchase travelers insurance in your home country which meets the federal requirements listed above.
  2. You purchase a student insurance plan from the Student Health Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. These plans cost approximately $1,900 annually and are purchased upon arrival if you come to the University at the beginning of the semester.

J-1 visa holders with University of Nevada, Reno health insurance

If you are a J-1 visa holder receiving University health insurance, you are required to buy an additional coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation to your home country. This insurance can be purchased from the following providers:

Medical evacuation and repatriation insurance providers
Insurance provider Plan Phone number
Betkins K & K Consulting Services A Scholastic Plan (253) 238-6374
Harbour Group Medical Evacuation & Repatriation Benefit Plan (800) 252-8160
International SOS Visitor US Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Plan (215) 942-8000

J-1 visa holder insurance plan providers

You may purchase health insurance plans from the following insurance providers or any other providers on the market.

Health insurance providers for J-1 holders
Insurance provider Phone
Compass Benefit Group (800) 767-0169
HTH Worldwide Insurance Services (888) 243-2358
International Student Insurance (877) 758-4391
VIP Compass Voyager (800) 244-1180