Because medical care is extremely expensive in the U.S., it is essential that a foreign scholar and accompanying family members have adequate health insurance while in the United States. For example, the average daily room charge at Gritman Medical Center (Hospital) $545 and, depending on the reason for hospitalization and the use of emergency services, can be more $1,200 per day. Surgeries or other types of physician care would be additional expenses for which the patient is responsible.
Therefore, the U.S. Department of State requires that J-1 scholars and their family members have medical/health insurance for the duration of their program. Evidence of your medical insurance certificate or contract must be presented to the International Programs Office upon your arrival at the UI.
Requirements of US Department of State are:
- Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness (to include maternity insurance for females of childbearing years)
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
- Co-payment amount not greater than 25 percent (%) so that the insurance pays at least 75% of charges
- Repatriation coverage of at least $7,500 (A type of life insurance whereby the deceased is returned to their home country)
- Medical evacuation coverage of at least $10,000 (If the scholar should be too ill to perform their duties, this assists with expenses for the scholar/dependent to return to their home country)
The scholar is responsible for the cost involved in purchasing a health insurance plan.
If the scholar is hired and eligible to receive UI employee medical benefits, please note that employee medical insurance at the UI does not cover medical evacuation and repatriation. Unless your UI host department agrees to pay for this you will need to spend around $38 per year per person for the evacuation and repatriation insurance. Insurance companies that provide medical evacuation and repatriation policies include:
For scholars who are not covered by the UI employee medical insurance plan, you will be expected to purchase your own medical insurance. Prices vary depending on age and policy features (at a minimum $50-150 per month). The three links provided below are U.S. insurance companies that do meet the requirements for J-1 health insurance:
Please realize that the least expensive contracts offered as “travel medical insurance” usually do not cover costs of child birth, elective dental care, elective eye care or medicines. Be sure to check the benefits of the policy you purchase.