Health Insurance

Please note that USF has recently changed to a new insurance provider. We have become aware of a new issue in which new scholars without a USF email and U number cannot sign up for this insurance at this time. Therefore, our current recommendation is for new scholars to purchase insurance from an alternate insurance company to start the J program and ask the company to complete the compliance form to upload in iStart- Please reach out to if you have questions.

J scholars and their J-2 dependents are required to carry medical insurance that meets specific federal minimum requirements for the duration of their program. To comply with this regulation, International Services must receive proof of USF insurance or the signed J-1 Insurance Compliance Form, if purchased from an outside company. 

To show proof of insurance, scholars must upload their documentation in the iStart system: 

  • The USF Student Health Services plan fully covers the requirements and is recommended. If you would like to purchase health insurance sponsored by USF, you can contact Student Health Services here. In your inquiry please include that you are a Visiting Scholar, if you have dependents, and the dates of your DS-2019. Visit Student Health Services webpage for additional information.

  • If you plan to enroll in an alternate health insurance plan you must have your health insurance company complete the Alternate Health Insurance Compliance Form.  IMPORTANT: You MUST upload the completed Alternative Health Insurance Compliance Form – any other uploads will be denied. 

  • If you will be employed by USF and plan to enroll in insurance offered to you as an employee, you must enroll in a temporary health insurance plan to provide coverage from the time you begin your program until your employee insurance begins. Please be aware that you must upload proof of your employee insurance by the time the temporary policy ends. 

IMPORTANT: When choosing your employer provided insurance coverage, be aware that the Postdoc plan meets all requirements for J visa holders. However, if you choose the state plan (ie People First- Blue Cross, United) it does not cover medical evacuation and repatriation which is required for J visa holders. Therefore, you will need to purchase additional coverage from USF Student Health Services. 

  • You will be required to show proof of insurance for the dates of your DS-2019 for yourself as well as any dependents upon your arrival to the U.S., regardless of whether the dependent(s) arrives with you. If dependent insurance is not provided at that time, the dependent DS-2019(s) will be ended.

Department of State Exchange Visitor Program Regulations require Exchange Visitor Program participants including all J-1 and J-2 dependents (Short-term Scholars, Research Scholars, Professors, Specialists and Students, etc.) to have health insurance in effect for the entire duration of their J program. Failure to maintain health insurance is a violation of the J visa status and will subject all participants to departure from the United States. The Department of State regulations are located in the Code of Federal Regulations (22CFR, Part 62.14). 
Insurance policies must meet the following requirements: 

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness 
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000 
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to home country in the amount of $50,000 
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness 
  • Includes coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the program in which the insured participates 

The policy must be: 

  • Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd (ISI) rating of “A-” or above, a Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A-” or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above, or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or 
  • Backed by the full faith & credit of the government of the insured’s home country; or 
  • Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or 
  • Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or eligible Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) as determined by the Health Care Financing Administration of the US Dept of Health & Human Services.