J-1/J-2 Student Insurance

The U.S. Department of State requires that all exchange visitors carry medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for themselves and their dependents throughout their stay in the U.S.  This is required to maintain J-1/J-2 status each semester. The cost of a student health insurance (SHI) plan is assessed to every international student upon enrollment. Dependents can be added to the policy for an additional cost. Students may use an alternative plan if it meets or exceeds the minimum requirements.

The following are the minimum coverage dates required:
  • One semester – Policy must be active from the first class day of the semester through the day before the first class day of the next semester
  • Summer semesters – Coverage is required every semester.  If the student is using the UT Dallas Student Health Insurance Plan and will not be enrolled during the summer semester, he or she will need to make arrangements for insurance coverage to continue.
The following are the minimum coverage amounts required:
  • Medical: $50,000 or more per accident or illness
  • Deductible: $500 or less per accident or illness
  • Medical evacuation:  At least $10,000 of coverage
  • Repatriation:  At least $7,500 of coverage
  • Business rating:  Meets federal solvency guidelines*

*Any policy plan or contract secured to fulfill health insurance requirements must, at minimum, 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 and Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A" or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above, or such other rating service as the Agency may from time to time specify; or
  • Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor'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 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Insurance must be applicable for use in the U.S. medical system, so it must provide:

  • An insurance document to present to medical providers as proof of coverage
  • A means for medical providers to verify coverage

If you are unsure if your insurance carrier meets these requirements, contact that company directly.


ISSO staff will verify each semester that J-1 students and their dependents have sufficient insurance to maintain visa status. The following are acceptable proofs of alternative coverage:

Private Insurance (non-employment)

  • Copy of front and back of medical insurance card showing name(s) of the insured and coverage dates
  • Copy of benefits summary page with medical and deductible amounts highlighted
  • Copy of proof of medical evacuation/repatriation coverage, if applicable

Employer Insurance (U.S. employer, TA/RA, Academic Training)

  • Copy of front and back of medical insurance card with your name on it
  • TA/RAs can use the UT Touch email sent when the policy was first elected

Insurance Fee Waivers

J-1 students with alternative insurance can request to have the UT Dallas SHI insurance fee waived by the Student Health Center.  This process is separate and in addition to the ISSO insurance verification.  For waiver requirements and procedures, see: http://www.utdallas.edu/healthcenter/insurance/intl-waivers.html.

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