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.
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.
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.
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:
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.