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J-1 Health Insurance

J-1/J-2 Health Insurance Requirements

As an Exchange Visitor under the Department of State’s J-1 nonimmigrant visa program, you are required to maintain health insurance for yourself and any J-2 dependents during your stay in the United States. The health insurance coverage for you and your dependent family members must meet the Department of State's minimum federal guideline requirements as well as they minimum coverage requirements set forth by SUNY:

    • Coverage of pre-existing conditions
  • Medical benefits of at least $200,000 (US) per person per accident or illness
  • A deductible not to exceed $50 per sickness or injury
  • Medical benefit coverage payable up to the reasonable and customary charges of the following expenses:
    • Physician and surgical, ambulance, emergency room, in-patient and out-patient care, mental and nervous costs, maternity care, nursery care of a newborn child
  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment of mental and nervous disorders
  • Expenses associated with medical evacuation to home country in the amount of $10,000
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500

Please note that not all health insurance plans include medical evacuation and repatriation coverage (e.g., NYSHIP does not include medical evacuation and repatriation). Accordingly, you may need to purchase additional insurance to supplement your current health insurance coverage. Medical evacuation and repatriation coverage can be purchased for $7.30/month (2012-2013 rate) through the Cashier’s Office (102 Bray Hall).

SEVIS authorized Responsible Officers of the J program are required to maintain proof that Exchange Visitors have adequate insurance in effect throughout the entire time they are participating in the sponsor’s program. Proof of adequate health insurance coverage must indicate the duration of your coverage including the end date of the policy. If your actual health insurance card does not provide this information, you should make a copy of your insurance plan details that indicate the insurance coverage start and end dates. You must also provide proof of medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. A valid MedEx card or print out of your current and valid insurance plan details that indicate medical evacuation and repatriation coverage will be accepted as adequate proof of coverage. A signed J-1 Attestation of Health Insurance must also be submitted.

You are required to show proof of your current, valid health insurance whenever you request any of the following benefits:

  • SEVIS validation upon arrival at the beginning of ESF sponsorship
  • Travel signature for re-entry to the U.S.
  • Extension of J-1 program and DS-2019
  • Authorization of Academic Training

SUNY Health Insurance Coverage for International Students Without Assistantship

ESF students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required by SUNY policies to maintain adequate health insurance with medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. International students (F-1 or J-1 status) are automatically enrolled in the SUNY Health Insurance Plan prior to matriculation and the fee for the medical coverage is added to the Bursar bill. The annual single student premium for the SUNY Plan is $1144.50 for 2012-2013 academic year. You will be enrolled in this insurance every year of your program and the coverage will continue until graduation.

The SUNY Health Insurance Plan is serviced by Haylor, Freyer & Coon and covers accidents and sicknesses as well as visits to and referrals from the Syracuse University's Health Services Center. About a month after enrollment, students should receive their health insurance card. This must be presented to the medical facility when medical care is requested. If you do not receive your Health Insurance card, please contact the Cashiers Office (102 Bray Hall / 315-470-6630).

Note: Neither the State of New York, through its agents, nor the State University of New York through its agents and employees, is responsible in any manner whatsoever for the payment of any claim for health-related services provided to individuals covered under this insurance policy. The State of New York and State University of New York are not responsible for obligations incurred by individuals who are not covered by this insurance policy. All individuals participating in the University’s health insurance programs described herein are responsible for reviewing all descriptions of the scope and level of coverage offered by this policy. Such participants will be solely responsible for obtaining additional coverage not provided under this program if such is deemed necessary by the participant.

Students with a State or Research Foundation Assistantship

J-1 visa holders must enroll in the SUNY Health Insurance plan through the Cashier's Office at a discounted rate.

Alternative Comparable Health Insurance Coverage

Students who meet an exemption criterion noted above and choose not to carry the SUNY health insurance, must submit a Health Insurance Coverage Statement and evidence of comparable alternate coverage [a copy of your health insurance plan coverage details; proof of medical evacuation and repatriation coverage (if not included in your primary health insurance policy); and proof of enrollment (e.g., health insurance card)] to the Cashier in 102 Bray Hall or the Bursar’s office in 103 Bray Hall within 30 days of the first day of class each semester you attend SUNY-ESF. If you do not present this evidence within this time frame, you will be responsible for the full insurance coverage for that semester. Please note that comparable coverage is coverage that meets or exceeds all of the minimum requirements noted above.

Family/Spouse Health Care

Health insurance that meets the minimum federal guideline requirement must be maintained for all J-2 dependents who accompany you to the U.S for the duration of your program of study. The SUNY Health Care Plan can be purchased for dependents who join you in the U.S.
The fee for the 2012-2013 academic year is:

  • Spouse: $2455.20
  • Children: $1322.40 per child

If you have children who will be attending public schools, you will be required to show proof of immunization, including the three D.P.T (diptheria, pertussis, tetanus). Bring copies of medical records for yourself and your family members.

If you or your family will travel outside the US and require health insurance coverage, you can purchase the SUNY OUTBOUND coverage for the duration of your travel. F-1 and J-1 primary's would purchase the coverage through the ESF Cashier's Office; F-12 and J-2 dependents would complete the enrollment form available online (be sure to select the SUNY OUTBOUND plan) and submit it with payment to HTH.


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