J-1/J-2 Health Insurance Updates

We have seen a lot of changes from the Department of State this year and they are not done yet. One of the many changes that OIS has been working with is the requirement to monitor health insurance coverage for our J-1 and J-2 visa holders. It has always been a requirement that J-1 and J-2 visa holders maintain valid health insurance for the length of their DS-2019, however, the level of monitoring of health insurance compliance for J-1/J-2 visitors has changed. We appreciate your assistance in spreading this information throughout your department and to your J-1 and J-2 visa holders.

OIS has initiated the following policy for the J-1 and J-2 visa holders at NC State:

  1. OIS will ask for proof of health insurance any time we must issue or sign a DS-2019 for a J-1 or J-2 visa holder.
  2. If any J-1 or J-2 visa holder willfully fails to maintain health insurance that meets the Department of State requirements, both the J-1 and J-2 immigration statuses will be terminated, per the Department of State regulation. This includes persons who purchase and then drop health insurance or any gap in health insurance coverage at any point during the duration of the DS-2019.

Per the Department of State, the health insurance for the J-1 and J-2 visa holder must provide at least $100,000 per accident or illness; $50,000 provision for medical evacuation; $500 maximum deductible per illness and $25,000 minimum repatriation coverage (as of 05/15/2015). 

OIS has confirmed that the postdoc insurance plan, student health insurance plan and the GSSP student health insurance plan do meet the Department of State health insurance requirements. However, the State Health Plan does not meet the Department of State health insurance requirement because it does not provide medical evacuation or repatriation coverage and does not meet the deductible requirement. Departments should be aware that any J-1 or J-2 that is on the State Health Plan will need to purchase additional insurance to meet the Department of State health insurance requirement.

To assist our J-1 and J-2 population with meeting the Department of State health insurance requirement OIS has partnered with the Office of Risk Management to offer the HTH plan for international students and scholars to J-1/J-2 visa holders. In order for J-1 and J-2 visa holders to receive the discounted rate they must contact OIS directly and pay for the plan through OIS by cashier’s check only. OIS will work directly with the Office of Risk Management at NC State to enroll the J-1 and/or J-2 in the HTH insurance plan.

If the department wishes to pay for the HTH plan for their J-1 scholar, please contact OIS. T

The HTH Plan does not meet the ACA requirements so J-1 and J-2 visa holders may be subjected to a penalty depending on their tax status. The rates for the HTH plan are below:

 Rates for 2015-2016 International Rates: International Student/Scholars Plan – Monthly Rate
 
Participant $ 87.60
Participant & Spouse $ 382.45
Participant & Family $ 520.40
Participant & Child(ren) $ 225.55

OIS has had to make adjustments to ensure that NC State remains compliant with the Department of State regulations and is able to continue to host J-1 and J-2 visa holders. We appreciate your patience as we transition and work to ensure that NC State has a quality Exchange Visitor Program. We will update you as soon as we receive a final rule from the Department of State and as our insurance policy evolves to meet new requirements.