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J Exchange Visitor Health Insurance Requirements

All J-1 & J-2 Exchange Visitors are required to carry medical insurance for the duration of their program in order to maintain lawful J status. This health insurance coverage is required to meet minimum criteria set by the Department of State.  In many circumstances J-1 Exchange Visitors are eligible for health insurance through Hopkins.  If not, Exchange Visitors, are required to seek out health insurance that meets the minimum criteria.  Exchange visitors will need to submit a completed Health Insurance Pledge to the OIS prior to the creation of their initial DS-2019 and any time their DS-2019 is extended and/or amended. 

J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. 

Health Insurance Minimum Requirements**

** The insurance amounts listed below increased on May 15, 2015.**  

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness
  • Deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness
  • Medical Evacuation up to $50,000
  • Repatriation of remains up to $25,000
  • Covers pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period
  • Includes provision for co-payment that does not exceed 25% co-pay by the Exchange Visitor
  • Does not exclude benefits for perils inherent to the activities of the Exchange Visitor’s program
  • Must be underwritten by an insurance company that meets the rating requirements of the Department of State or is backed by the full faith and credit of the Exchange Visitor’s government.

Failure to Maintain Health Insurance

Willful failure on the part of the Exchange Visitor and/or any J-2 dependents to maintain the required insurance will result in the termination of J status.

Private Health Insurance Providers

If you have JHU health insurance coverage, you do not need to purchase an additional plan.  If you will be purchasing health insurance coverage through a third party provider you should carefully review the details of the plan to make sure that the plan meets the minimum criteria stated above. While the OIS cannot endorse any specific plan we do encourage participants to consider those plans endorsed by NAFSA as Global Partners.  It is important to contact the school's office (above) before purchasing a plan to make sure that the plan meets any requirements that the school has that are above and beyond the J-1 requirements. 


If you have questions about J-1 Exchange Visitor status, please contact the OIS at