J-1 visa holders as well as J-2 dependents need to have a compliant health plan
According to the Department of State, the purpose of the J-1 Visa Program is as follows:
The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.
Starting in May 15 of (2015) the US Dept. of State will require the sponsoring program or University to terminate the J-1/J 2 visa if the individual does not have suitable health coverage. The basic requirements for J1 Visa Insurance Plans are as follows:
- $100,000 minimum coverage (up from $50,000)
- $50,000 minimum medical evacuation coverage (up from $10,000)
- $25,000 minimum coverage for repatriation (up from $7,500)
- $500 maximum deductible per accident or illness.
- Proof of coverage for the duration of the visa
The changes outlined here are just the main requirements of the ACA compliant plan for a J1/J2 visa holder, additional benefits and requirements must be included. For a complete overview, visit the Federal Register’s Summary.
Another revision is the addition of two new rating categories, the ‘‘A-’’ rating by Fitch Ratings, Inc. and the ‘‘A3’’ rating by Moody’s Investor Services will now be accepted with the other rating agencies of AM Best, ISI, Standard and Poor’s and Weiss.
Although the new plan requirements went into effect on January 5, 2015, sponsoring organization had until May 15, 2015 to amend their insurance coverage and plan benefits to meet the new requirements. All sponsoring organizations should now be compliant.
The US Dept. of State is updating and amending the program guidelines for J-1 (AKA Exchange Visitor Program) that govern the designation of sponsors and the overall administration of the Program. This update encompasses technical changes to the general provisions and addresses public diplomacy and foreign policy concerns, including the Department’s ability to monitor sponsors to protect the health, safety and welfare of foreign nationals who come to the United States as exchange visitors.