Scholars-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University


All J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents are required by federal regulations to have health insurance meeting minimum standards. To meet the minimum standards, the health insurance selected by scholars in J status must:

  • Include medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness.
  • Include at least $25,000 worth of "repatriation" coverage to send a body back to the home country if the insured should die.
  • Include at least $50,000 for "evacuation" expenses coverage to send the insured to hospitals in the home country.
  • Include deductibles that do not exceed $500 per accident or illness.

In addition to the regulations governing J Exchange Visitors, another US law requires health insurance coverage.  Under the "Affordable Care Act (ACA)," individuals who do not maintain "minimum essential healthcare coverage" must make an additional payment to the Internal Revenue Service when they pay their taxes. Visitors in J status are exempt from this additional tax payment if they are nonresidents for tax purposes but would still be required to maintain health coverage that meets the J regulations. CMU's student and employee insurance policies meet the ACA minimum healthcare coverage requirement.  

J-1 exchange visitors who will not receive benefits from CMU may purchase health insurance that meets these minimum standards from the University Health Service. ALL J-1 exchange visitors must read, sign and submit OIE's J-1 Scholar Health Insurance Agreement to verify that they will comply with the insurance requirement. 

Purchase health insurance for yourself and your dependents, if applicable. Full-time faculty and staff who are paid by CMU are typically eligible for benefits and insurance through the university. Visiting scholars who will not receive health insurance benefits from the university may purchase the student health insurance from University Health Services, in Morewood Gardens, 1st floor, (corner of Forbes and Morewood Avenues). This insurance may only be purchased during the first 30 days of your appointment at CMU.                      

Failure to purchase and maintain Health Insurance will result in termination of J-1 status.

Last Updated: January 10, 2017