What's the cheapest possible healthcare plan that satisfies my visa req?
June 26, 2017 6:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm in the US as a J-1 visiting professor. I'm required to have health insurance for my visa (details within). What's the cheapest plan that will meet these criteria? I'm in California.

The specific requirements are "minimum coverage must provide medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness; repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; expenses associated with medical evacuation to the exchange visitor’s home country in the amount of $50,000; and deductibles cannot exceed $500 per accident or illness".

I'm single, in perfect health, male, in my thirties. Let's assume I don't intend to actually use my insurance but only need to cover the legal requirement. What's the lowest premium I can expect to pay for such a plan? What are some possible providers to look at?
posted by zeri to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you sure the school doesn't provide you with health insurance?
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:13 PM on June 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

A low quote would be $69 per month through ISH. Just search for J-1 Insurance. You have a lot of options.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:19 PM on June 26, 2017

Seconding ISH. I had my school's insurance because it made more sense for me as a diabetic person, but several people I know without pre-existing conditions went with ISH.
posted by Tamanna at 7:43 PM on June 26, 2017

Are you sure the school doesn't provide you with health insurance?

Unfortunately, yes.

DarlingBri, the link isn't working for me -- can you say what type of plan you're seeing for $69/month? Cheapest I'm finding on ISH is $131/month.
posted by zeri at 7:56 PM on June 26, 2017

Oh wait, you're a professor and not a student; my apologies. I was getting a quote from this form. I would absolutely still call them, because that $69 a month is based on your age being 30 and they should be able to do something.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:13 PM on June 26, 2017

Do you have an employer in your home country? Do they provide travel insurance? If so, that might meet these criteria - it did for me when I needed to provide something similar.
posted by Grinder at 1:14 AM on June 27, 2017

Insurance through your university is almost certainly going to be your best option.
posted by forkisbetter at 4:23 AM on June 27, 2017

Oh, I had to deal with this (although I'm an F-1 visa holder).

My school's international student services recommends that we purchase a more general health care plan through the university (which I can't really remember how much it costs, although not cheap) and get the repatriation/accident insurance separately, since most general plans don't meet the high requirements of international scholars. I used this site, I think the plan is called a "Beta Plan Scholastic Enhanced". It cost $40/year and covered $350,000 of Medical Evacuation Coverage and $50,000 of Repatriation Coverage, among other things. Prices/coverage may have changed but you should check it out.
posted by Paper rabies at 11:48 AM on June 27, 2017

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