Scholars and Dependents

Auburn University requires all J-1 international scholars, J-1 student-interns, and J-2 dependents to purchase Auburn University insurance.

J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents are required to have either an Auburn University Employee Benefits Medical Plan or Auburn University Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) for International Scholars. U.S. Department of State (DOS) regulations require you to have health insurance that covers you and any accompanying J-2 dependents for sickness or accident coverage for the duration of your J-1 Program. Willful failure to maintain proper insurance coverage or misrepresentation of coverage is a violation of your J-1 status.

This requirement applies to J-1 scholars, J-1 student-interns, and their J-2 dependents on all Auburn University system campuses.

Upon your arrival to campus, you will need to enroll in health insurance with the Insurance office in Foy Hall. DO NOT purchase other health insurance plans from your government or private insurance providers; otherwise you will pay for two insurance policies. Most polices do not meet the university requirements or do not complete our waiver form. If your company can state that your insurance is equal to or better than the one we offer, we will consider it. However, these waivers are rarely given.

Auburn University Employee Benefits Medical Plan

Eligible scholars and student-interns should purchase the Auburn University Employee Benefits health insurance (medical plan). Generally, if scholars or student-interns receive a salary from the University for three months or more at 75% time employment or more, they and their J-2 dependents are eligible for University employee health insurance. You should contact your hosting department to ask about your employee benefits eligibility. For additional information, contact the Employee Benefits office.

  • Be aware that the university plan does not provide repatriation benefits and therefore if you choose to be on this plan you must purchase repatriation insurance either through the Insurance office or on your own. If you buy it on your own, our office will need proof of this enrollment.
  • The minimum coverage required for repatriation are as follows:
    • Repatriation of remains $25,000
    • Medical evacuation $50,000

If you are not eligible for University employee benefits or choose not to enroll in a University employee medical plan, you must purchase the UHC plan as described above.

Failure to Comply with the Health Insurance Requirement

If you do not purchase the insurance for yourself and your dependent(s), and do not qualify for an exception as approved by the Insurance Office, you will not be eligible to use ISSS’s services during your stay at the University. These services include:

  • Travel/Reentry Signatures
  • DS-2019 Extensions
  • Dependent DS-2019 Requests
  • Financial Updates
  • Occasional Lecture and Short-Term Consultation Authorizations

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) regulations require J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents to carry health insurance that meet specific minimum standards. Health insurance must be maintained from the day you arrive in the U.S. through the entire duration of your J-1 program.

If you willfully fail to carry health insurance for yourself or your dependents after your program effective date, Auburn University must terminate your J-1 program and report this to the U.S. Department of State.

In addition to the regulatory reasons for carrying health insurance, health care in the U.S. is complicated and very expensive. One illness or injury can financially devastate you and your family (one day in the hospital can cost well over $10,000). International scholars, student-interns, and their dependents are not eligible to use U.S. government paid public assistance programs. Health insurance is designed to prevent depletion of your savings if an accident or illness occurs.

Insurance Enrollment and Waiver Procedures

  • Those who enter the U.S. will need to check in with the OIP office. Once you have completed this check in please come to our office to complete your insurance.
  • At the time you come to our office you will be presented with a waiver form and from that date you will have 10 business days to complete the form.
  • If you cannot complete the form during this allotted time, you will be enrolled in the AU insurance for one term and will have the option to turn in one on the next term.
  • For enrollments all scholars will be automatically enrolled for 1 term of insurance from their date of entry. Term end dates are as follows: 2/16 for fall 8/15 for spring and summer
    • Examples : if you enter the U.S. on Sept 30th, you will be enrolled from Sept 30th to 2/15/19 and then re-enrolled from 2/16/19-8/15/19 (one more term)
    • If you enter the U.S. on Dec 12th you will be enrolled from 12/12/18-2/15/19 and then re-enrolled from 2/16/19-8/15/19 (one more term)
    • If you enter the U.S. on March 5th you will be enrolled from 3/5/19-8/15/19 and then re-enrolled in the fall.
  • Of course, if you are here only for a short time, we will only enroll you for those dates and not charge you for the whole term.
  • If you need to receive a refund because you are leaving, please give us 30 days notice and we will make sure to get that taken care of for you.
Last Updated: August 30, 2018