Health Insurance

U.S. Dept. of State Required Health Insurance Coverage for J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors

J-1 Exchange Visitors and their accompanying J-2 dependents are required by the U.S> Department of State to have medical insurance at the minimum levels throughout the period of stay in the U.S.

Minimum levels of health insurance coverage must include :

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per illness or accident 
  2. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  3. Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
  4. Repatriation of remains in the event of death in the amount of $25,000
  5. Coverage of pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period
  6. Co-payments that do not exceed 25 percent of the covered benefits for accident or illness

The corporation underwriting the insurance policy must have one of the following ratings: an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A-” or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of “A-” or above; a Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above.

Government regulations require that J programs be terminated if a scholar or their J-2 dependent willfully fails to comply with insurance requirements.

Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers

Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers’ health insurance benefits are provided through Gallagher Benefit Services or GBS (formerly known as Garnett-Powers & Associates). See the UC Santa Cruz Visiting Scholar Benefits Program website for detailed plan and enrollment information.

If you have insurance from your own country or independent coverage, you must provide proof of insurance coverage and request a waiver from Gallagher. Please make sure you understand the Department of State’s requirement for medical coverage and minimum benefits before applying for a waiver. If your own policy is denied you are required to enroll in the University Visiting Scholar plan. 

Postdoctoral Scholars                                         

Postdoctoral scholars are eligible to participate in the UC Postdoctoral Scholars Benefits Plan (PSBP). It is important that postdoc scholars use the correct portal to enroll for their health benefits: Please refer to your appointment letter.

Visiting Professors, Lecturers, and Researchers

Please check with your department administrator regarding any benefits offered to you and your family through your UC Santa Cruz employment. If you will have an insurance plan through UCSC that meets all of the U.S. Department of State requirements but does not include medical evacuation and repatriation of remains, you must purchase supplemental insurance to make sure you also have this requirement covered. Options for supplemental insurance for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains:

This list is not exhaustive nor does it imply any endorsement or product guarantee by UCSC International Students and Scholars Services office.

Note about CORE – a high deductible PPO plan. If you are paid by UCSC and will have health insurance through the university, you must select a different insurance plan since the CORE plan does not meet government health insurance requirements for J scholars.

Last modified: Aug 17, 2023