Health Insurance Requirement

J-1 Exchange Visitors and their accompanying J-2 dependents are required to have medical insurance at the minimum levels required by the Department of State throughout the period of stay in the U.S.

Minimum levels of health insurance coverage must provide:

  1. medical benefits of at least $100,000 per illness or accident 
  2. a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  3. expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
  4. repatriation of remains in the event of death in the amount of $25,000
  5. coverage of pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period
  6. co-payments that do not exceed 25 percent

The corporation underwriting the insurance policy must have one of the following ratings: an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A-" or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of "A-" or above; a Moody's Investor Services rating of "A3" or above.

Government regulations require that J programs be terminated if a scholar or their J-2 dependent willfully fails to comply with insurance requirements.


Garnett-Powers & Associate, Inc. is the health insurance broker for visiting scholars at UC Santa Cruz. Visit Garnett-Powers & Associate directly to view and enroll in the available plans. If you have insurance from your own country or independent coverage, you must provide proof of insurance coverage and request a waiver from Garnett-Powers. Please make sure you understand the Department of State's requirement for medical coverage and minimum benefits before applying for a waiver. If your own policy is denied you are required to enroll in the University Visiting Scholar plan.

Postdoctoral scholars are eligible to participate in the UC Postdoctoral Scholars Benefits Plan (PSBP). It is important that postdoc scholars use the correct portal to enroll for their health benefits, http://clients.garnett-powers.com/pd/uc/. Refer to your appointment letter.

Visiting Professors, Lecturers, and Researchers. Please check with your department administrator regarding any benefits offered to you through your UC Santa Cruz employment. If you are offered a plan that meets the Department of State requirements but does not include medical evacuation and repatriation of remains, you will need to purchase supplemental insurance. One option is to purchase supplemental insurance for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains through Sky Rescue Travel Insurance Plan. After enrollment and payment please send enrollment confirmation to ischolar@ucsc.edu.

Other suggestions:

  1. The Harbour Group
  2. Compass Benefits Group, Liaison Traveler
  3. BETIN: International Health and Travel Insurance