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Health Insurance Requirements for J-1 Scholars

International Scholars > Health Insurance Requirements for J-1 Scholars

J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents must be covered by sickness and accident insurance that meets the Department of State (DOS) requirements for the duration of their participation in MIT's J-1 exchange visitor program. Failure to have such insurance coverage may lead to loss of legal immigration status and termination from MIT's exchange visitor program. These DOS regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations [22 CFR 62.14].

As of May 15, 2015, minimum health insurance coverage must provide:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  • In case of death, repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  • In case of serious illness or injury, payment of expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000;
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness; and
  • Co-insurance (co-pay) not to exceed 25%

Two of the MIT employee health plans (the MIT Traditional Health Plan and the MIT Choice Plan) and the MIT Affiliate Health Plan meet the DOS J-1 requirements.

If you will enroll in an MIT health plan, you must enroll within 30 days from the start date of your MIT appointment; otherwise, you may lose your eligibility to enroll until the next open enrollment period. When you enroll in an MIT employee health plan thorugh ATLAS you will voluntarily authorize payroll deductions. The MIT Affiliate Health Plan does not offer payroll deduction.

Please Note: The MIT High Deductible Health Plan does NOT meet the J-1 health insurance requirements and you should not select this plan if you are a benefits-eligible J-1 visa holder.

If you have insurance from an outside company or government, your insurance must meet the above limits. Note: 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.

The regulations continue: "Exchange visitors who willfully fail to maintain the insurance coverage set forth above . . . or who make material misrepresentations to the sponsor [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] concerning such coverage will be deemed to be in violation of these regulations and will be subject to termination as an exchange visitor." [22 CFR 62.14(i)]

All J-1 scholars at MIT must sign a Statement of Compliance form for the International Scholars Office stating that they understand and will comply with the J Exchange Visitor Program health insurance requirements as outlined above.

Click here for more information on health insurance options for J-1 exchange visitors and other MIT visitors and affiliates.

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Last Updated: July 2018

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