Information on Required Insurance for J Exchange Visitors
Federal Regulations require all J Exchange Visitors (Students and Scholars) to purchase and maintain certain levels of insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents for the entire duration of their J-1 status, including arrival prior to start date and during the 30 day grace period, in the U.S.
Each exchange visitor must document current insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents by completing (with the Insurance company) an LSUHSC-34 Form unless an exception is granted by the Director of International Services. All requests for exceptions to this requirement must be made in advance of the expiration of any prior LSUHSC-34 Form. ****See important note at end of page!!****
***New requirements effective May 15, 2015 are outlined below***
The Federal Regulations at 22 CFR §62.14 state:
(a) Sponsors shall require each exchange visitor to have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor for sickness or accident during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor's exchange visitor program. Minimum coverage shall provide:
(1) Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
(2) Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
(3) Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
(4) A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
(b) An insurance policy secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:
(1) May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions which is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
(2) May include provision for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
(3) Shall not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.
(c) Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:
(1) Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-i” or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of “A-” or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above, or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
(2) Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country; or
(3) Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
(4) Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or eligible Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) as determined by the Health Care Financing Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
(d) Federal, state or local government agencies, state colleges and universities, and public community colleges may, if permitted by law, self-insure any or all of the above-required insurance coverage.
(e) At the request of a non-governmental sponsor of an exchange visitor program, and upon a showing that such sponsor has funds readily available and under its control sufficient to meet the requirements of this section, the Department of State may permit the sponsor to self-insure or to accept full financial responsibility for such requirements.
(f) The Department of State, in its sole discretion, may condition its approval of self-insurance or the acceptance of full financial responsibility by the non-governmental sponsor by requiring such sponsor to secure a payment bond in favor of the Department of State guaranteeing the sponsor's obligations hereunder.
(g) An accompanying spouse or dependent of an exchange visitor is required to be covered by insurance in the amounts set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. Sponsors shall inform exchange visitors of this requirement, in writing, in advance of the exchange visitor's arrival in the United States.
(h) An exchange visitor who willfully fails to maintain the insurance coverage set forth above while a participant in an exchange visitor program or who makes a material misrepresentation to the sponsor concerning such coverage shall be deemed to be in violation of these regulations and shall be subject to termination as a participant.
(i) A sponsor shall terminate an exchange visitor's participation in its program if the sponsor determines that the exchange visitor or any accompanying spouse or dependent willfully fails to remain in compliance with this section.
Failure to acquire or maintain appropriate insurance coverage for the J-1 Exchange Visitor or any J-2 dependent(s) is grounds for termination of the J Exchange Visitor's SEVIS record and that of their dependents. No reinstatement is available for this type of violation.
The Office of International Services will remind exchange visitors when their insurance coverage, or that of their dependents, will expire. This reminder is only a courtesy. It is the responsibility of the principal exchange visitor (J-1) to properly maintain the required coverage.
****Important Note: An Insurance Policy in compliance with the J exchange visitor insurance requirements does NOT necessarily comply with requirements of the Affordable Care Act!! More details are in the link below.****