Health care in the United States is provided by private hospitals and clinics. Although in many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, in the U.S., individuals and families—including students—are responsible for these costs themselves. Living in the U.S. without adequate health insurance is unwise and potentially extremely expensive.
International students on a J-1 or F-1 visa as well as visiting scholars on J-1 visa are required by the University Texas System to have medical insurance during the duration of their studies/research. J-2 visa holders who live in the U.S. are also required to have medical coverage. All exchange visitors and any accompanying dependents also may be subject to the terms of the Affordable Care Act.
All SURME program international students are classified as J-1 Student Interns. Please use this form for confirmation of insurance.
Sponsors must require that all exchange visitors (as well as their accompanying spouses and dependents) have insurance in effect that covers them for sickness or accidents during the time of their exchange visitor program. The recent rule increases the minimum coverage to meet today’s medical insurance needs.
Current Requirements [22 CFR 62.14]:
Sponsors are to require that their participants (and any dependents entering the United States as holders of a J-2 visa) have insurance in effect during the period of time they are in the sponsor's program. An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten 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. Alternatively, the sponsor may ascertain that the participant's policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country. For other options, see [22 CFR 62.14].
Program regulations also discuss coverage through HMOs and self-insurance of the above requirements by federal, state or local government agencies, state colleges and universities, and public community colleges, if permitted by law. Refer to [22 CFR 62.14] for additional information.