In accordance with the US Code of Federal Regulations, Vol. 22, section 62.14, October 2014 exchange visitors coming to the USA on a J-1 visa must maintain adequate health insurance for themselves and any dependents on a J-2 visa throughout their stay in the USA. Failure to maintain insurance will lead to loss of legal status and termination from the program. The US Department of State requires that a minimum coverage shall provide:

Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness

Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000

Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000

Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions which is reasonable as determined by current industry standards

May include provision for co-insurance under the term of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness

Must not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.

The insurance policy must be underwritten by an insurance corporation having one of the following ratings:

an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above

a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above

a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor's Claim-paying Ability rating of "A-" or above

a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of "A-" or above

a Moody's Investor rating of "A3" or above

insurance coverage backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country

If you are a Getty Scholar or Fellow participating in a Getty Scholar Program or if you are a Getty Intern/Trainee participating in the Getty Graduate Intern Program please click here to read the coverage the Getty offers you.

If you, independently, buy an insurance plan for you (and/or for your dependent(s) traveling to the US on a J-2 visa), make sure that it complies with all the requirements noted above, including the rating system If the insurance company of your choice cannot provide the rating system, change company! In general, larger insurance firms are familiar with these requirements and may be able to provide the necessary documentation; though it may be helpful to print this page and show it to the insurance company. For your safety (and the safety of your dependents on a J-2 visa), we strongly suggest that your plan provides a larger amount of medical coverage than the minimum required by the US Department of State because the cost of medical care in the US is extremely high!

If you plan to use your National Health Insurance, you must provide sufficient documentation (written in English) to prove that the coverage complies with the requirements of the US Code of Federal Regulations mentioned above.

Please be aware that if you will be in residence less than 12 weeks, or you decline Getty coverage, or Getty coverage is not offered in your invitation letter/contract, the Getty will not provide you or your family members with any health coverage whatsoever, and the Getty will not be able to help you with questions related to any other coverage you buy.

Your insurance policy must include the first day of your Getty residency but, for your own safety, it is strongly suggested to cover the entire period you plan to stay in the United States, including the arrival and departure traveling days.

The health insurance policy must be written in English and, have a contact phone number and address in the United States. Failure to choose an insurance company with American contact information may result in you having to pay for all medical expenses at the time of service, be it an office visit or a hospital stay.

The insurance policy must be accompanied by a letter from the insurance company (or from the home National Health organization) written in English and, confirming that the requirements listed above are met. Please remember to bring your original policy and the accompanying letter with you when you come to the U.S.

Note: It is the exchange visitor's responsibility to check with the insurance company to be sure that the policy meets the regulations listed above. Getty employees are not insurance experts and cannot do this verification.

Insurance plans can be purchased at:
  • Private companies in your home country
  • Online
  • Many other insurance companies that you may find online, or via your local US Consular Office, or via colleagues' suggestions, etc.

It is important for you to know that most plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. This may or may not exclude National Health Insurance. If you have a pre-existing condition, it is critical that you have a plan in place in the event that you need care or medication for your pre-existing condition.

When purchasing a policy, you should ask specific questions such as:

How do I find out which doctors and hospitals are covered by this insurance policy in the area close to my LA home?

Will I have to pay any expense upfront?

Will I have to submit any forms for reimbursement?

Where can I find the forms?

Who should I contact for questions and assistance related to the use of this insurance policy while I am in the U.S.?


The US Department of State wants you to know that J-1 and J-2 visitors may also be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to maintain compliant health insurance or to pay the tax penalty for not carrying it.

In general:

Non-resident aliens for tax purposes are not subject to the ACA requirements
Resident aliens for tax purposes are subject to the ACA requirements
For purposes of this exemption J-1 Exchange Visitors such as Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars, Specialists, Trainees and Interns are usually considered non-resident aliens for the first two calendar years (the year they first enter the US and the following year).

However, if you were in the US prior to the two exempt years, click on the following link to take the substantial presence test to verify whether you are considered resident or non-resident.

If you will be a resident for tax purposes know that the UnitedHealthCare insurance plans offered at the Getty meet the ACA requirements.

Please be aware that it is your responsibility to understand your health insurance requirements and comply accordingly. Please know that health insurance plans from sources in your home country, including government insurances, are usually not recognized by the ACA as meeting the minimum essential coverage.

For more information visit this web site:

Once you have selected your insurance policy, please fill out the Insurance Verification Form and email it to OSIP at

For any questions, please contact Daniela Ferrari, OSIP Supervisor, via email at: or call her at: 001-310-440-6123.

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