Purchase Health Insurance

Healthcare in the United States is very expensive. All F and J visa holders need to purchase health insurance for themselves and their dependents in case you have an emergency or need medical care while studying here. Students will be required to submit proof of health insurance coverage (in English) to the Office of International Education during orientation. Immigration status cannot be validated until this requirement is met.

If you do not have insurance, bills can be as high as $5,000 for a simple emergency room visit, or $100 for a regular doctor's visit. Minimal coverage requirements are listed belowthis is what you can look for in an insurance policy. The Office of International Education is not able to advise you or assist you with purchasing health insurance. Please note that even basic health insurance in the United States does not coverall medical benefits like prescriptions or dental or vision.


Short-Term Health Insurance Plans for International Students in the United States

This is a listing of the most commonly purchased Insurance Plans for international students in theUnited States. Students must purchase insurance from a company in the U.S. online with a credit card or request a brochure and mail a check or money order. Keep proof of insurance in your wallet in case of emergency.

Remember, healthcare is expensive in the USA, and international students are responsible for any costs associated with their physical or mental health.

Immunization Records are Required

IUP requires documentation from all new freshman and transfer students of all immunization dates. This includes the following vaccines:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus-toxoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Polio

Bring copies of your health and immunization history. You will be asked to complete an electronic record of your health and immunization history after you arrive and are registered for classes.

Additionally, IUP requires that all students, prior to moving into university-owned residence halls, must receive the vaccination for meningococcal meningitis or sign a document stating that the student has chosen to be exempt from receiving the vaccination.

IUP Health and Wellness Fee

All students will be billed for a health service fee. This fee allows you to visit IUP's on-campus clinic to obtain basic medicine for colds, visit a doctor, and receive referrals to other doctors. For a more complete list for service offered, see Center for Health and Well-Being.This fee is not insurance.Students must also purchase a separate health insurance policy.

United States Federal Guidelines for Health Insurance Minimums for J-Visa Visitors

Those holding J-Visas are required by federal regulations to have insurance plus insurance for all J-2 dependents. Exchange visitors must select an insurance policy that is in compliance with the stated requirements below and turn in proof of insurance to their J-1 advisor.

22 C.F.R. 62.14 Insurance

In October 2014, the US Department of State issued a final rule that the requirements of J-1 insurance coverage were changed to:

  1. Sponsors shall require each exchange visitor to have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor for sickness or accident during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor's exchange visitor program. Minimum coverage shall provide:
    1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
    2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
    3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
    4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  2. An insurance policy secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:
    1. May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions which is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
    2. May include provision for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25 percent of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
    3. Shall not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.
  3. Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:
    1. Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of A-'' or above; an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd., (ISI) rating of A- i'' 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; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
    2. Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country; or
    3. Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees

These new levels of coverage will come into effect on May 15, 2015, so students and scholars arriving after this date will need to meet these new requirements.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued a travel alert to highlight countries where Zika virus is prevalent. For more information, visit the Health Service page about Zika.