Health Insurance for J-1 Visas

Insurance Requirements for Exchange Visitors (J-1 and J-2)

Per U.S. regulations, all J-1 Exchange Visitors and J-2 dependents must maintain qualified health insurance coverage for the entire duration of their stay in the U.S.

Santa Clara University requires that all Exchange Visitors (J-1 and J-2) purchase the Gallagher International Students and Scholars Insurance - Silver Plan. This plan meets all U.S. Government, University and Affordable Care Act requirements. It is mandatory that all SCU sponsored J participants and all J-2 dependents purchase this exact insurance.  There is no waiver or appeal.

J-1 Insurance FAQ's

If international people experience a serious medical event, they are liable to pay for medical costs directly without negotiation or discounts.  The significant cost of medical treatments in the United States is more than most international people can bear and the financial implications can be long-standing.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of State requires that all J-1 students and scholars as well as their J-2 dependents maintain specific levels of insurance coverage. Without this insurance coverage, a J-1 or J-2 participate are out of compliance and could have their immigration record terminated.

Finally, since the University is required to collect and maintain proof of J-1 and J-2 insurance coverage, uninsured J-1 and J-2 participates are a major legal liability for our ability to continue to host people in these programs going forward.

The US Department of State (DOS) has very detailed insurance requirements for J-1 international students and scholars as well as their J-2 dependent family members. Qualifying insurance must include coverage of 

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  2. Medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000;
  3. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  4. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
  5. Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

 

These regulations also outline that the coverage period must match the J-1 program duration and put limitations on the location and professional rating of the company offering the insurance.

J-1 and J-2 participants may also be subject to the individual mandate and other requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

In order to ensure that our J-1 and J-2 participants meeting these highly complex requirements, our University requires enrollment in a specific insurance plan that meets all government and University requirements.

Yes. The Affordable Care Act (ACA). If an international student or scholar is considered a “Non-resident Alien” for tax purposes, they are not subject to ACA. All other international students and scholars are subject to ACA.

In order to ensure that our J-1 and J-2 participants meeting these highly complex requirements, our University requires enrollment in a specific insurance plan that meets all government and University requirements.

 

Often times, the national health care coverage of other countries does not meet the requirements of the US Department of State. For example, the national health care coverage of countries such as Sweden, the UK, Japan, etc. do not normally provide for:

1) Medical evacuation to the home country

2) Healthcare charges to be paid directly to a US hospital, emergency room, etc. from the foreign governmental insurance system, meaning that students are required to pay medical expenses up front and then try to get reimbursement from their home country.

Generally no. You are required to purchase this exact insurance and you will be required to maintain coverage for the entire time you are in the U.S. Typically this means pre-paying the entire cost of your insurance up front as we collect proof of insurance at the time of arrival for compliance reasons.

If this is a financial concern, please contact International Students and Scholars.

Our University specifically requires that all Exchange Visitors (J-1 and J-2dependents) purchase the Gallagher International Students and Scholars Insurance - Silver Plan. This plan meets all U.S. Government, University and Affordable Care Act requirements. It is mandatory that all SCU sponsored J-1 participants and J-2 dependents purchase this exact insurance.  

At this time our University will only accept enrollment in this required insurance plan for compliance purposes. We will require proof of enrollment at the time that you arrive in the U.S. and complete your mandatory immigration check-in. There is no waiver or appeal.

We will be verifying your enrollment in the required insurance via reporting from the insurance company, but we will also require that you bring proof of insurance (proof of payment or your insurance card) to our office at the time of your initial check-in.

How to Enroll

Please read the following information on how to enroll in the required insurance plan carefully. It is your personal responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance with state, federal and University rules regarding insurance coverage. We will require that you provide proof of coverage at the time of your arrival and check-in.

To enroll, please visit: www.gallagherstudent.com/SCU and select "ISS Enroll" from the left hand menu. This will take you to a page where you can create a login and enroll in the required insurance.  

To assist you, we have attached a Insurance Plan Summary summary as well as our Enrollment Help Manual to walk you through the insurance enrollment process.

You are required to enroll in insurance for yourself and all dependent family members who will be joining you prior to arriving in the U.S.; we generally recommend completing the enrollment application 30 days in advance of your arrival. 

Please select coverage dates to cover your entire program, and each day you are in the U.S.  If you plan to arrive before the start of your program, we recommend that you make sure that your insurance covers those pre-program dates. A good rule is to base your coverage dates on your planned flights. 

Please keep these rules in mind when purchasing your insurance:

1) the minimum enrollment requirement for the required plan is three months, 
2) you should purchase the insurance for the entire duration that you are in the U.S. and will have the option to enroll for more than three months, at one month increments, during your initial enrollment,
3) if you need to extend coverage you will be required to purchase an additional three months of coverage or longer.

This insurance plan renews it rates and plan terms on an annual basis (usually in August). Therefore, the insurance plan does not currently sell insurance coverage beyond September 30, 2016. If you plan to be in the U.S. and need insurance coverage after that date, you can either:
1. Purchase insurance from your date of arrival to September 30th and then renew it again when you get here or,
2. Wait until closer to your arrival and purchase your insurance once the rates renew and you're able to purchase the entire duration of your stay at one time.

When asked for your SCU ID Number, if you do not have your SCU ID Number yet, please use any random 6 digit placeholder.  

When asked for your SCU Email Address, you may use your personal address.

You may be asked questions about your insurance enrollment or plans at the time of your visa interview. If you have not enrolled by the time of your visa interview, you should take a copy of the Insurance Plan Summary.