J-1 Scholar: Medical Insurance

As a J-1 Scholar, you are required to have health insurance that meets the requirements for yourself and any accompanying J-2 dependents during the entire time you are a scholar at Penn State.   

What are the requirements? 

Medical insurance that meets the J-1 regulations is required for all J-1 Visa holders and accompanying J-2 dependents for the duration of their program.   

According to the U.S. Department of State, minimum requirements include:  

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness 
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000 
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000 
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness 

Why is medical insurance so important? 

  • Health care is very costly in the United States. 
  • The U.S. does not have a national health care plan. 
  • Health services may be restricted if you do not have health insurance. 
  • Willful failure to purchase and maintain the required insurance coverage (including J-2 dependents) will result in the termination of your exchange program. 

How do I meet the requirement? 

IF YOU ARE PAID BY PENN STATE AND RECEIVING BENEFITS:

If you have been offered employee benefits, you will enroll in the Aetna PPO plan through Penn State's HR portal, Workday.  You must also purchase medical evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage.

STEP 1

Purchase the 2018-2019 Medical Evacuation and Repatriation coverage through First Student 

Instructions:  

  • Click the link above
  • Under "Voluntary Enrollment," choose your Penn State campus.  Website is now fully functional for all campuses! Updated August 10, 2018.

Helpful tips for the enrollment forms:

  • For Policy Year, select "2018-2019" 
  • For Student ID, please enter your Penn State ID number.
  • For Health Insurance Provider, type "Aetna." 
  • If you are a new scholar: for Health Insurance Provider #, retype your Penn State ID number.
  • If you are a continuing scholar: for Health Insurance Provider #, type the ID number that appears on your Aetna insurance card.

STEP 2

NEW SCHOLARS -- Upload documentation (offer letter and confirmation of evacuation and repatriation coverage) to the Medical Insurance form in your iStart checklist.

CONTINUING SCHOLARS -- Upload documentation (Benefit Elections PDF from WorkLion and confirmation of evacuation and repatriation coverage) to the Update Insurance Information form in iStart under J-1 Scholar Services.

 

IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE THE PENN STATE STUDENT HEALTH PLAN

If you need insurance coverage and want to use University Health Services on campus, you must purchase the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

STEP 1

Purchase the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan through First Student.  The plan includes major medical insurance benefits as well as medical evacuation and repatriation benefits.

To purchase insurance for August 1 through 12, 2018:

  • Select academic year 2017-2018 in the enrollment form. 
  • Type in Penn State – University Park, then choose Visiting Scholar. 
  • Select the start day, and choose 08/12/2018 as the end day.  

To purchase insurance for August 13, 2018 and beyond: 

  • Select academic year 2018-2019 in the enrollment form. 
  •  Type in Penn State – University Park, then choose Visiting Scholar. 
  •  Enter your start day.  
    • For new scholars, this will be your DS-2019 Program Start Date or the day you enter the United States, whichever comes later.
    • For continuing scholars, this day must be August 13, 2018.
  • Enter your end day. 
    • For new scholars, this will be your DS-2019 Program End Date or August 12, 2019, whichever comes sooner.
    • For continuing scholars, this will be your DS-2019 Program End Date or August 12, 2019, whichever comes sooner.

 

ESTIMATED Penn State Student Health Plan Costs (2018-2019 Academic Year)

  Daily
Scholar $10.06
Spouse $10.06
Child $10.06

 

STEP 2


NEW SCHOLARS -- Upload documentation to the Medical Insurance form in your iStart checklist.

CONTINUING SCHOLARS -- Upload documentation to the Update Insurance Information form in iStart under J-1 Scholar Services.

 

IF YOU ARE A SCHOLAR WITH ANOTHER INSURANCE POLICY:

If you need medical insurance and are willing to seek off-campus medical treatment, you may purchase another insurance that meets the requirements.

IMPORTANT: You can email your policy to jscholaradv@psu.edu before purchase to be sure it meets the requirements.

STEP 1

Purchase an insurance policy that meets the J-1 requirements (see above).  Coverage amounts must be in U.S. dollars, and your policy must be in English.  

STEP 2

NEW SCHOLARS -- Upload documentation to the Medical Insurance form in your iStart checklist.

CONTINUING SCHOLARS -- Upload documentation to the Update Insurance Information form in iStart under J-1 Scholar Services.

What if I still have questions? 

Email jscholaradv@psu.edu