It is required by the U.S. government that all J-1 visa holders maintain a health insurance that meets or exceeds specific coverage minimums throughout the program dates listed on the DS-2019 form. If a J-1 scholar or dependent willfully refuses to maintain a valid health insurance policy, then their visa will be terminated. The minimum benefits required by the U.S. government are:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness.
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000.
  • Expenses associated with medical evacuation to your home country in the amount of $50,000.
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.

JMU offers a health insurance policy to J-1 scholars and dependents through Cultural Insurance Service International (CISI) that meets these requirements and is accepted by many medical providers in the Harrisonburg area. Coverage can begin on any date. You may also choose to purchase your own insurance policy that meets the necessary criteria by submitting the J-1 health insurance waiver. If you do not purchase a health insurance policy and submit the waiver form by your program start date, you will automatically be enrolled and billed for the health insurance policy offered by JMU. 

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