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J-1 Exchange Visitor Program participants and their dependents are required by the U.S. Department of State to have medical insurance in effect during the period of time they are in the program. This includes any time spent outside of the U.S. during the program period. Minimum coverage requirements pursuant to Federal Regulations [22 CFR 62.14] are listed below for reference.

The insurance plan offered to UNC’s Postdoctoral Scholar employees meets and exceeds the U.S. Department of State’s requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors and their dependents. More information regarding this plan can be found on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website.

Please note:  The State Health Plan of North Carolina for all other UNC employees does NOT meet the Department of State requirements for participants in the J Exchange Visitor Program due to its high deductibles and lack of coverage for medical evacuation or repatriation of remains.  J-1 employees covered under the North Carolina State Health Plan must purchase additional coverage in order to be in compliance with the J-1 regulations.

UNC has contracted with the insurance company, GeoBlue, to provide our visitors who are not UNC-employed Postdocs a health insurance option that exceeds the U.S. Department of State’s requirements for J-1/J-2 visitors. Please see the instructions below if you wish to enroll yourself (and your family) in coverage. If you prefer to use a company other than GeoBlue for your health insurance coverage, you must have that insurance company complete an Insurance Certification form for you confirming that the coverage meets all of the Department of State’s requirements (contact your ISSS advisor for further instructions). Please bring your proof of health insurance coverage with you when you come to ISSS for check-in.

  • Go to https://www.geobluestudents.com/
  • Enter UNC’s group access code, NZF-627, in the box under the section labeled “Students” along right side bar
  • Select “new” enrollment
  • The coverage period cannot exceed 12 months. If your program is more than 12 months, you will need to renew your policy toward the end of the 12 month period.
  • Once you enroll, you will receive an email from GeoBlue with instruction on how to register with their website. Please be sure to register, login, print your new ID card, and provide a copy to ISSS.

A brochure of the GeoBlue insurance plan with coverage details can be viewed on this webpage: https://isss.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/23085/2017/08/GeoBlue-Member-Guide-2019_20.pdf. More information on the Department of State’s health insurance requirement for J-1 exchange visitors can be found online in our J-1 Scholar Welcome Handout.

Minimum Coverage Requirements

  • 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 of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000;
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period (6 months or less)
  • Underwriting by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-I” or above, a Standard and Poor’s Claims Paying Ability rating of “A-” or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.