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 benefits through your Penn State department (check your offer letter), Human Resources can help you enroll in the Aetna PPO plan.  You must also purchase medical evacuation and repatriation of remains insurance coverage through First Student.  IMPORTANT: If your program start date is August 12, 2018 or later, you cannot purchase this coverage yet.  Please wait for further instructions.

STEP 1

  • Click the link above
  • Under "Voluntary Enrollment," choose your Penn State campus
  • Choose "2017-2018" for the policy year to purchase coverage that ends on August 12, 2018.  
  • Choose "Global Emergency Services - Graduate Plan" (click "Explore Policy")
  • Click "Enroll Now"

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 Documentation form in iStart under J-1 Scholar Services.

 

IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE THE PENN STATE STUDENT HEALTH PLAN: 

STEP 1

Purchase the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan through First Student.  If you purchase this plan, you do not need to purchase a standalone Medical Evacuation/Repatriation policy.

IMPORTANT:  If your program start date is on or before August 12, 2018:  You must purchase the 2017-2018 plan until August 12, 2018, or for the duration of your J-1 program if it is ending before August 12.

IMPORTANT: If your program start date is August 13, 2018 or later:  You must purchase the 2018-2019 for the duration of your J-1 program or until 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 Documentation form in iStart under J-1 Scholar Services.

 

IF YOU ARE A SCHOLAR WITH AN OTHER INSURANCE POLICY:

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.  

IMPORTANT: You can email your policy to jscholaradv@psu.edu before purchasing to be sure it can be considered for the waiver.  

STEP 2

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

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

What if I still have questions? 

Email jscholaradv@psu.edu