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Health Insurance Requirements for Exchange Visitors

Under US Department of State requirements, all J-1 Exchange Visitors (including J-1 students and J-1 scholars) and their J-2 dependent family members are required to have insurance that meets or exceeds the requirements listed in the table below. Failure to maintain adequate insurance may lead to termination of J-1 / J-2 status. For this reason, it is essential that you understand and obtain adequate insurance coverage that meets the J visa obligations.

J-1 / J-2 Insurance Requirements

Insurance plans must provide you and any J-2 family members with benefits to cover medical expenses. In addition, the plan must include a low deductible per accident or illness, and coverage for expenses including medical evacuation to your home country and repatriation of remains in the case of death.

Coverage Item Minimum Coverage Requirement
Medical Benefits $100,000 per accident or illness
Medical Evacuation $50,000
Repatriation of Remains $25,000
Deductible $500 maximum per accident or illness

If your insurance plan provides only medical benefits but does not provide for medical evacuation or repatriation of remains, you may need to purchase a supplemental insurance plan that covers these requirements.

How to Obtain J-1 Insurance Coverage

If you are a J-1 student pursuing degree studies or studying at Tufts as an exchange student, you are required to enroll in Tufts's student health insurance plan. You may also seek a waiver if you have an outside insurance plan that provides comparable coverage acceptable under J-1 insurance requirements.

For J-1 students not engaged in degree study or participating in a study abroad program at Tufts, you must show that you have purchased an insurance plan that meets J-1 insurance requirements. A list of providers is provided below, although Tufts does not recommend any single provider. It is up to you to review which J-1 insurance plan meets your specific insurance needs.

J-1 scholars who will be employed by Tufts are eligible for health insurance benefits unless otherwise stated in your employment contract. If you are eligible for benefits, your sponsoring department should schedule an orientation with the Human Resources immediately upon your arrival.

At the Benefits orientation, please be sure to inform them that you are a J-1 scholar and that you need to meet J-1 insurance requirements. The Benefits Office is located at 200 Boston Avenue, Tufts University, Medford Campus. They can be reached at 617-627-3270.

IMPORTANT:

  • If you are eligible for health insurance benefits through Tufts, but choose not to participate in any of the plans offered, it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that you obtain insurance coverage which meets the J-1 health insurance requirements
  • Postdoctoral Associates & Postdoctoral Fellows are offered a separate health benefits package. For questions on this type of package, contact the Student Advisory and Health Administration (120 Posner Hall, 200 Harrison Avenue). They can be reached at 617-636-2700 for questions.
  • The insurance plan offered to postdoctoral associates & postdoctoral fellows by Tufts meets all of the J-1 Health Insurance Requirements, including "Repatriation of Remains" and "Medical Evacuation." Repatriation of Remains and Medical Evacuation coverage is only for those J-1 scholars who are eligible for benefits and who have enrolled in one of the benefits insurance companies offered by Tufts.

If you are a J-1 scholar who will NOT be employed by Tufts, you are required to obtain or purchase an insurance plan that meets or exceeds J-1 insurance requirements. Failure to obtain adequate insurance will lead to termination of your J-1 status. As a result, please be prepared to verify your insurance coverage upon arrival at Tufts University.

External Insurance Providers

There are a variety of private insurance companies that offer J-1 insurance plans. Please note: it is up to each individual Exchange Visitor to find a J-1 insurance policy that meets their specific insurance and health coverage needs. The information listed below is for your convenience. Tufts does not recommend or endorse a specific insurance provider. 

Any insurance plan used to meet J-1 visa requirements must be provided either be backed by the full faith and credit of your home government, or underwritten by a corporation having one of the following industry ratings:

  • A.M. Best rating of A- or above
  • McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims- paying Ability rating of A- or above
  • Weiss Research, Inc. rating of ‘B+’ or above
  • Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of A- or above
  • Moody’s Investor Services rating of A3 or above.