Health Insurance: J Scholars
Mandatory Health Insurance for J-1 Exchange Visitors
Consistent with United States federal regulations, individuals in Exchange Visitor (J-1) status must purchase health insurance that includes minimum coverage as set by the United States Department of State, including coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation. To ensure that exchange visitors at Temple University purchase at least the minimum coverage for the duration of the individual's J program, Temple University requires proof of insurance only from firms whose coverage has been verified as meeting the Department of State minima prior to the issuance of any Form DS-2019. You may find a list of insurance companies with policies that meet Department of State standards on our Insurance Companies Listing page.
Insurance coverage dates must match the program start and end dates on the exchange visitor's DS-2019. The insurance requirement applies also to any dependents in Exchange Visitor Dependent (J-2) status. If dependents will arrive after the exchange visitor, insurance may be purchased for them closer to their arrival in the US; however, proof of that insurance must be submitted to Ms. Loughran no later than five (5) days after the dependents' arrival in the U.S.
Individuals who are eligible to purchase health insurance under the Temple University employee plans will also need to purchase additional coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation. The suggested vendor for this additional coverage is MEDEX.
Program participants and their dependents are required to have medical insurance coverage FOR THE DURATION OF THEIR PROGRAM with the following minimum benefits [22 CFR 62.14].
- Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
- An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, your government may submit a statement verifying that they fully support your insurance policy.
The reason for the requirement; and the need for health insurance
It is dangerous to be in the United States without adequate health insurance. Although in many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, and sometimes even for visitors, individuals and families in the United States are responsible for these costs themselves. Since a single day of hospitalization and medical treatment can cost thousands of dollars, many hospitals and doctors refuse to treat uninsured patients except in life-threatening emergencies. Most Americans rely on insurance, and you should do the same. Insurance gives you access to better and more timely health care, and provides the only protection against the enormous costs of health care in this country.
Dental and Vision Information for International Scholars
Please keep in mind that many health insurance plans offered in the United States do not include Dental and Vision Insurance. Please consult your insurance provider to ascertain whether or not your plan will cover dental and vision. If not, you may wish to contact the following companies for more information:
Associated Insurance Plans
Phone: 1 800-452-5772
Golden West Dental and Vision
Phone: 1 800 655 3225
How medical insurance works:
When you purchase health insurance coverage, the money you pay (your premium) is combined with the premiums of others to form a pool of money. That money is then used to pay the medical bills of those participants who need health care. Your coverage remains valid only as long as you continue to pay your insurance premiums.
Once you purchase insurance, the company will provide you with an insurance identification card for use as proof of your coverage when you are seeking health care from a hospital or doctor. The company will also provide written instructions for reporting and documenting medical expenses (filing a claim). The company will evaluate any claim that you file, and make the appropriate payment for coverage under your particular policy. In some cases the company pays the hospital or doctor directly; in others the company reimburses the policy holder after he or she has paid the bills.