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J-1 Health Insurance

Health Insurance for Visiting Scholars

United States government regulations and South Dakota State University (SDSU) policy require health insurance coverage for all visiting scholars and their family members who accompany them to the United States.

  • Based on federal regulations, the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) requires Visiting Scholars (J-1-Visiting Scholar and J-2-Dependent Status) to purchase health insurance. These visiting scholars are required by federal law to have insurance which covers the time they leave their home country until the date they depart the United States. 

    Health insurance must include: 
    • Minimum Coverage of $100,000 per accident or Illness
    • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
    • Medical expenses associated with the evacuation of the exchange visitor of $50,000 or more
    • Deductible not to exceed $500.00 per accident or illness.
  • The State of South Dakota Health Plan does not meet the federal guidelines and BOR Policy for insurance. An additional policy through CISI will be required for scholars who have the State of South Dakota Health Plan to ensure that they have repatriation/evacuation coverage. (Coverage costs approximately $6.00 for the J-1 visa holder and $9.00 per month per family member/J-2 Visa holder.) Furthermore, scholars who are covered by the SD Health Plan should purchase travel insurance that meets the department of state regulations for times they are not covered by this plan. Our Human Resources office has indicated that health insurance provided by the state of South Dakota does not go into effect until one month after your employment start date. According to the Department of State Regulations, you must have coverage for your entire stay in the US. As a result, you will need to purchase one month of insurance from one of the companies below PRIOR to your arrival in the US.
  • Those scholars who are not benefits eligible (do not qualify for the State of South Dakota Health Plan) must enroll for the SDBOR approved health insurance plan. Visiting Scholars can purchase health insurance from one of the following providers.
    • Purchasing one of these health insurance policies must be done prior to entering the United States.

If you have any questions, please contact Kirsten Linke. (See emails below.) J-1 Students who wish to bring their spouse under a J-2 Visa must also purchase a health insurance plan prior to the J-2 leaving their home country. Failure to purchase an insurance plan that meets Department of State requirements prior to the J-1 or J-2 visa holder leaving their home country will render BOTH the J-1 and J-2 visa holders out of status.

Questions? Contact: