Skip to content

Health Insurance for J-1 Scholars

medical cross green iconAll J-1 exchange visitors are required to have health insurance while in the United States. Unlike many other countries, which bear the expense of health care for its residents, individuals in the U.S. are responsible for these expenses themselves. A single day of hospitalization can cost thousands of dollars. A good insurance policy gives you access to excellent medical facilities and provides protection against the enormous costs of health care.

Insurance Requirements

The U.S. Department of State requires that J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents have sickness and accident insurance for their entire stay in the USA. If the J-1 or J-2 visitor spends time outside of the USA during the period of the program, health insurance must still be in place for the entire duration of the program. Minimum coverage must provide medical benefits ($100,000 per accident or illness), a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness, expenses associated with the medical evacuation to the home country ($50,000), and repatriation of remains ($25,000). Email Susan Tripp with any questions about the requirements.

Insurance must be in effect by the program start date on the DS-2019 or you will be required to purchase the campus plan. 


The Cal Poly International Student and Scholar Health Insurance Plan

Cal Poly has negotiated a reasonable and comprehensive health insurance policy for international scholars. It may be purchased online at  You will need your Cal Poly ID number to purchase this insurance. This plan includes a medical assistance rider to cover emergency medical evacuation to the home country and repatriation of remains.

If Cal Poly will be providing you with a medical insurance plan, you may purchase just the medical assistance rider to cover emergency medical evacuation to the home country and repatriation of remains. 

All accompanying dependents must also have insurance that meets the U.S. Department of State Requirements. 

How much does it cost?

See 2020-2021 Snapshot for monthly rates and coverage dates.

What You Will Pay

  • The cost of the insurance charge
  • A $150 deductible per policy year (waived at the campus health center and an in-network doctor’s office)
  • A $10 copay when you go to an in-network doctor’s office (waived at the campus health center)
  • No copay, after deductible, when using an in-network urgent care facility
  • A $10 copay for an in-network urgent care physician office visit
  • A $150 copay after deductible if you go to an in-network emergency room (waived if you are admitted to hospital)
  • A $15 copay for generic prescription medications, or a $30 copay for brand name medications (copays waived at campus health center)
  • Out-of-network coinsurance if you do not use an in-network provider
  • Full amount for any services not covered by insurance (see exclusions and limitations in the Member Guide)
See full plan provision in the Geo Blue Medical Plan Certificate (pdf)

brochure green iconWhat does it cover?

The plan includes coverage for health care, mental health care, emergency family travel, medical evacuation and repatriation, and accidental death and dismemberment.
See for information on rates and how to use your plan and details of plan coverage.
Familiarize yourself with and share these important documents with family members found on this site:
  • Using Your Insurance (pdf)
  • Plan Snapshot (pdf)
  • GeoBlue Medical Plan Certificate (pdf)
Medical Assistance Rider (pdf)

Explore to find contact information, links to providers, instructions on how to obtain your insurance card, and how to file a claim.

Are vision and dental services included?

The medical plan does NOT include coverage for vision correction (eyeglasses, contact lenses, or vision exams) or dental services for patients over 19 years of age (unless related to an injury). If you wish, you may purchase your own vision and dental insurance. The eHealth web page offers price and coverage comparisons. Be aware of waiting periods on dental plans.

How do I get my Insurance ID card?

You will receive an email from GeoBlue with instructions on how to download your card each quarter. You may also set up an account at to access your ID card at any time. If you need to seek treatment before you receive your card, please contact Relation Education Solutions at 800-537-1777 to obtain your insurance ID number. .

clock green icon

How do I find a doctor?

Use the to search the list of participating plan doctors and use the Using Your Insurance (pdf) resource to find links to hospitals and urgent care centers.

Medical Emergency and After Hours Care

See the Medical Emergency web page for locations and contact information for hospitals and walk-in clinics near campus. These facilities accept the Cal Poly International Student and Scholar Health Insurance Plan. These can also be found on the Using Your Insurance resource. Scholars are not eligible to use the Cal Poly Health Center.

How do I submit a claim?

In most cases you will pay a small copayment to see a doctor at the time of service and the doctor’s office will bill the insurance company directly. If you are required to pay in full for services up front at a doctor’s office, you can submit a claim electronically through the GeoBlue Member Hub at You may also fax, email, or mail claims to or fax to (610) 482-9623, or mail claims to the following address:
P.O. Box 21974
Eagan, MN 55121
You may download a claim form
Keep copies of all the documents you submit for claims.

Claim Questions?

To check the status of a claim you submitted, call GeoBlue at (844) 268-2686


There are no immunization or health tests required to purchase the Cal Poly International Health Insurance plan. 

There are no general immunization requirements to apply for a J-1 or F-1 visa, or entry to the USA. Check with your local U.S. embassy or consular office abroad where you are applying for your visa.

question green iconQuestions and Assistance:


Regarding the Cal Poly Insurance Plan coverage and eligibility contact:


Regarding claims contact:

Regarding health insurance fees charged to your student account contact: