Medical Insurance for Research Scholars

You and your dependents are required by law to be covered by medical insurance that meets specified benefit levels. You must have coverage for the duration of your program.

The Department of State requires specific medical insurance coverage for all J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 family members.

Minimum coverage requirements

Below are insurance requirements for J-1/J-2 visa holders. Each accompanying dependent must be covered by insurance in the same amounts.
  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Medical evacuation $50,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
The period of required coverage is the actual duration of the exchange visitor’s program as shown on the DS- 2019. Coverage confirmation must be provided upon check in with International Programs and with requests for J-1 program extension.

Finding the policy that is right for you

Evaluate different insurance products to find one that best suits your circumstances. Consider factors such as:
  • If you are married or single
  • Whether you participate in sports activities that might raise your risk of injury
  • If you need maternity coverage
The following companies offer insurance products that meet or exceed the Department of State J exchange program minimum requirements for medical insurance. This is a partial list of companies and products and is provided only as a starting point. It is not an endorsement of any company or product. Additional information specific to benefits-eligible J-1 scholars is provided upon issuance of the DS-2019 in the J-1 Pre-Arrival Guide.

Take the medical insurance requirement seriously

Willful failure to maintain required insurance coverage for the duration of the J-1 program is a violation of the law. Your participation in the exchange visitor program could be terminated as a consequence.

Other helpful information


If you have questions about the insurance requirement, contact an advisor in International Programs International Student and Scholar Services.