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Health Insurance for MIT Visitors and Affiliates

International Scholars > Health Insurance for MIT Visitors and Affiliates

Health Insurance for J-1 Exchange Visitors and Other MIT Visitors and Affiliates

Important Changes in U.S. Health Care Law that May Affect International Scholars New!

Health care in the United States is very expensive. Therefore, it is recommended that all MIT visitors and affiliates have adequate health insurance. MIT has health insurance requirements for visitors and affiliates and the U.S. Department of State also has requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors.

All scholars in J-1 visa status are required by the Department of State to have health insurance for themselves and all dependents in J-2 status within 30 days of the J-1 program start date, and must maintain coverage for the duration of their stay in the United States. The International Scholars Office requires all J-1 Exchange Visitors to sign a Statement of Compliance when requesting the Form DS-2019 and again upon arrival at MIT. The Statement of Compliance details the requirements of health insurance coverage for all J-1 and J-2 Exchange Visitors. By signing this form, J-1 Exchange Visitors are stating that they understand the requirements and agree to comply with them. More information is available at http://web.mit.edu/scholars/intlscholars/healthinsurance/
j1requirements.html
.

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I am eligible for MIT benefits

If you are receiving a salary from MIT, you may be eligible for MIT benefits, such as life insurance, retirement plan, and health insurance. Most of the benefit programs of MIT are available to faculty and staff members who are appointed for at least three months, for at least 50% time, and are paid by MIT. Eligibility for some plans, including the dental plan, requires a longer appointment period. More information is available at http://hrweb.mit.edu/benefits/eligibility/.

If you are not sure if you are eligible for MIT benefits, speak to the Administrative Officer or Personnel Administrator in your department, laboratory, or center; contact the Benefits Office (Building E19-215, tel. 617-253-6151, e-mail: benefits-www@mit.edu); or consult the Human Resources website above

Individuals with the following MIT titles are among those NOT eligible for MIT benefits: Postdoctoral Fellow*, Research Fellow, Research Affiliate, and those on "Visiting" appointments. (*Postdoctoral Fellows are, in some cases, eligible for either the MIT Health Plan or the MIT Affiliate Health Plan. Contact the Administrative Officer or Personnel Administrator in your department, laboratory, or center for details.)

MIT offers a choice of several health plans to benefits-eligible employees. You can enroll in one of the available health plans within 31 days of your starting date, or within 31 days of receiving your official welcome letter, whichever is later. For more information about MIT benefits, including health insurance, complete the online New Employee Orientation at http://hrweb.mit.edu/welcome/.

When you enroll in one of the health plans offered by MIT, you will have the insurance coverage required by the Department of State for J-1 Exchange Visitors. MIT will pay for some of the cost of the health plan you choose, and the balance is deducted from your paycheck. Go to http://hrweb.mit.edu/benefits/health-medical-plans/health-plans for information about the health plans offered by MIT.

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I am NOT eligible for MIT benefits

If you are receiving a salary from MIT, you may be eligible for MIT benefits, including health insurance. See above.

If you are not receiving a salary from MIT, you are not eligible for MIT benefits, but you may qualify for the MIT Affiliate Health Plan, which includes both the Affiliate Medical Plan and the Affiliate Extended Insurance Plan. The Plan is available to individuals who are appointed for at least 50% time, for at least three months. To enroll in the Plan or for more information, contact the Affiliate Health Plan Office (Building E23-308, tel. 617-253-4371, e-mail: affplan@med.mit.edu) or consult the website: http://medweb.mit.edu/healthplans/affiliate/. The MIT Affiliate Health Plan meets the Department of State's J-1 requirements.

Note: The MIT Affiliate Health Plan always starts on the first day of the month. Upon enrollment, it must be purchased for the entire month, regardless of enrollment date, and cannot be prorated for part of a month.

If you have insurance from an outside company or government, repatriation and medical evacuation might not be included in your policy. Please check your policy/coverage. If needed, consult with the ISchO regarding how to purchase this required coverage.

In addition to the Department of State requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors, certain other MIT visitors and affiliates are required by MIT to have health insurance. The appointment titles subject to the MIT mandatory health care program are Visiting Scientist, Visiting Engineer, Visiting Economist, Visiting Scholar, Visiting Research Associate, Research Fellow, Fellow, Postdoctoral Fellow*, and Visiting Professor (including Assistant and Associate). (*Postdoctoral Fellows are, in some cases, eligible for either the MIT Health Plan or the MIT Affiliate Health Plan. Contact the Administrative Officer or Personnel Administrator in your department, laboratory, or center for details.)

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I have brought my own health insurance from my home country

If you do not want to enroll in the MIT Affiliate Health Plan because you brought your own insurance, you must do all of the following:

  • Show the Affiliate Health Plan Office proof of your insurance for their review.
  • Sign an Affiliate Health Insurance Waiver Form stating that you do not wish to purchase insurance through the Affiliate Health Plan. The form is available at http://medweb.mit.edu/pdf/affwaiv.pdf and in the Affiliate Health Plan Office (E23-308).
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors must also sign a Statement of Compliance for the ISchO stating that they understand and will comply with the health insurance requirements.

Your insurance plan must meet the State of Massachusetts requirements, and the Department of State's J-1 Exchange Visitor requirements (if applicable). The Department of State requires that all J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents have medical evacuation and repatriation of remains insurance. If you do not have this kind of insurance included in the plan you brought from home, you must purchase it separately. The cost is reasonable, about $50-$200 per year. Please ask the International Scholars Office for a list of companies that provide this insurance.

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The insurance I brought with me is backed by my home government

If you brought insurance sponsored by your home government, you will need to sign a waiver through the Affiliate Health Plan Office. The waiver form is available at http://medweb.mit.edu/pdf/affwaiv.pdf and in the Affiliate Health Plan Office (E23-308). J-1 Exchange Visitors are also required to sign the Statement of Compliance for the ISchO stating that they understand and agree to comply with the requirements.

Please Note: If you have insurance from a foreign government, repatriation and medical evacuation might not be included in your policy. Please check your policy/coverage. If needed, consult with the ISchO regarding how to purchase this required coverage.

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Last Updated: March 2014

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