Mandatory Medical Insurance

Mandatory Medical Insurance

Mandatory Medical Insurance is required for those visiting on a J-1/J-2 visa. Those visiting on other visa classifications will need to verify with their sponsoring agency on Medical Insurance requirements. Please note Massachusetts Health Insurance requirements for residents of Massachusetts. 

The U.S. State Department has mandated via federal regulations that all Exchange Visitors holding a J-1 visa maintain medical coverage for themselves and their J-2 dependents. Maintaining medical coverage is a condition of your J-1 visa status. The coverage must meet the U.S. State Department guidelines. If UMass or your sponsoring agency is not providing medical coverage, you must purchase your own. You may select the medical insurance that is best for you and any family; however, there are minimum coverages that must be met:

  • $100,000 per accident or illness
  • A deductible of no more than $500 per illness
  • Medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
  • Repatriation coverage for up to $25,000


  • Students will be automatically enrolled in the student health insurance plan.
  • Student on Academic Training will need to determine how long their UMass Student Health Insurance is valid. Once it has expired, you will need to update your insurance information below.
  • Scholars will update this in the J Arrival Form upon arrival. If your insurance changes during your program, please use the update form below. 

Failure to have health insurance may result in a termination of your J-1 (and J-2s) immigration record and subsequent departure from the U.S.

If you need to updated your insurance coverage, please submit the J-1 Insurance Coverage Update E-form.

UMass Amherst Non-Benefitted (unpaid) Visitors

Optional Medical Coverage Plans:

UMASS is not responsible for these plans.

  • United Health Care: The only option available to scholars at UMass Amherst that allows usage of University Health Services on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. This coverage is available through most providers in the Pioneer Valley. Please click on the icon below to start the application. For instructions on how to complete the information on the website, please click here.

United Healthcare

Additional plans that are NOT covered by University Health Services at UMass Amherst:

It is the J-1’s responsibility to get details about the plan they choose. It is important to know whether you will need to pay first and then get reimbursed (this can be very costly) and what doctors or hospitals will accept the insurance plan you choose. Most of these plans do NOT cover prior health problems (pre-existing conditions). They are travel/accident insurance and offer minimal coverage and sometimes large deductibles. Please see here to learn more about the U.S. health insurance system.

UMass Amherst Benefitted (paid) Visitors

Employees in positions represented by the Postdoctoral Researcher Organizing (PRO) bargaining unit are eligible for health insurance coverage through the Health New England / PD (HNE/PD) plan. This coverage begins from the date of employment

Employees in all other positions will have a wait time of 60 days before they are eligible for the university health plans and will need to purchase outside medical coverage to satisfy the J-1 requirements until the eligibility date passes to enroll in the University health insurance.

Failure to enroll in medical coverage within 30 days of arrival on a J-1 may result in the termination of your J-1 sponsorship.