Sunday, July 1, 2012

J-1 Visa Health Insurance Coverage

Health-insurance coverage requirements of the J1 Teacher Exchange Visa were increased on May 15, 2015.  The US government sets health insurance minimum coverage for the J-1 visa as part of its official exchange program established by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (PDF) (Public Law 87-256) as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451:
  -  Medical Benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  -  Deductible not exceeding $500 per accident /illness  
  -  Repatriation of Remains up to $25,000  (CHF covers you)
  -  Medical Evacuation expense to home country up to $50,000  (CHF covers you)

The type of coverage required by J-1 regulations is satisfied by the Plan E Plus health plan offered by Visit International Health Insurance.  The cost of the insurance by age (as of January 7, 2020) for $100,000 per accident or illness with $500 deductible is: 

You can charge to a credit card and must obtain this insurance before arriving in the U.S if not immediately covered by the school plan.  If you buy it, repatriation and medical evacuation is included even though CHF covers you for those two planks.

Please be advised that this coverage is designed to be a temporary solution; special coverage for J-1 visaholders is less expensive, but it does not cover basic checkups that might be required by your school and probably not shots or immunizations.  You must try to enroll in the school group health insurance policy as soon as practicable if you think you will need health insurance for anything but a serious accident or dire emergency.  You can search the Internet and find many other companies that offer this insurance.
Bear in mind that if your school or district coverage does not provide the minimums outlined in paragraph 1 above, you must purchase the additional coverage needed.

The Cordell Hull Foundation covers every teacher and immediately family dependent (spouse or child) for:

1.  Repatriation - transport of body back to home country in event of death
2.  Medical Evacuation - transport of body back to home country in event of severe illness or injury

IMPORTANT:  Each J-1 teacher must be insured at the point that s/he first steps foot on US soil throughout the full length of the J-1 tenure in Section 3 of form DS-2019. You must choose a plan with a deductible no higher than $500 and no less than the $100,000 maximum limit.
Do not inscribe until the school /district /state receives confirmation that the teacher has paid the embassy fees to apply for their J-1 visa passport stamps;
Form DS-160 = $160 + SEVIS Fee = $220 totaling $380.

For further information on the J-1 visa, see the Cordell Hull Foundation website: and click on Teacher Exchange at the top of the page.

You can find links to a large number of instruction videos narrated by native speakers of English, French, Spanish and Mandarin on

Read the other CHF blog articles below that interest you!

Marianne Mason, President
Cordell Hull Foundation for International Education, New York

45 Rockefeller Plaza, Floor 20, NY, NY  10111 (by appointment only)