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MANDATORY Insurance and Orientation
MANDATORY Health Insurance
As an Exchange Visitor in the United States and under the U.S. federal government rules, ALL J-1 scholars MUST carry health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents for the full duration of their J program in the States. U.S. government regulations stipulate that if the J-1 visa holder willfully fails to carry health insurance for her/himself and her/his dependents, the J-1 SEVIS record will be terminated resulting in the termination of the visitor’s program and return back to his/her home country.
Additionally, Health care in the United States is very expensive. A simple visit to a doctor can cost hundreds of dollars and staying in the hospital for a couple of days may cost thousands. Therefore, WKU (your J-1 visa sponsor) has negotiated, selected and approved a health plan that meets the U.S government requirements and ALL WKU International Scholars and their families MUST purchase the plan. All of Western Kentucky University’s international scholars are automatically enrolled in Academic Health Plans insurance (AHP). The cost of WKU-AHP health insurance is estimated at $1100 per calendar year for the visiting scholar, however, the cost of health insurance for a spouse and child(ren) will be approximately three times the cost of the visiting scholar. Since AHP health insurance meets the U.S government requirement, DO NOT purchase health insurance in your home country or in the United States. You will purchase the health insurance at your Orientation.
As a condition of the J-1 visa, ALL visiting scholars and their dependents are required to have medical insurance for the period of their appointment, starting with the day of arrival. ALL WKU visiting scholars will be required to purchase the WKU-contracted health insurance policy upon their arrival to the United States with an estimated cost of $1,100 per calendar year. Please see chart below for the 2011-2012 rates. It is very important that visiting scholars do not purchase health insurance plan from their home country prior to their coming to the U.S. Please note that the health insurance cost for the dependents is approximately two (2) to three (3) times the cost for the visiting scholar.
AHP Rates for J1 scholars (2012-2013)
Scholar: approximately $107.00 per month ($540.00 per semester)
Spouse: approximately $265.00 per month ($1,330.00 per semester)
Child: approximately $158.00 per month ($800.00 per semester)
Two or more children: approximately $316.00 per month ($1,580 per semester)
To best utilize your Health Insurance, we recommend visiting WKU's Health Services located on campus. Health Services proudly staffs two Board Certified Physicians and a Nurse Practitioner within a brand new, modern facility. Their services range from routine physicals and doctor visits to lab work, x-rays, immunizations, urgent care, sports medicine, health counseling, and annual exams. They even house their own pharmacy. WKU's Health Services provides outstanding care to the WKU Campus Community.
Health insurance is MANDATORY for ALL international scholars and their J-2 dependents for the duration of their stay at WKU
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) provides MANDATORY orientation for all new international scholars upon their arrival to WKU. During the orientation, scholars will receive crucial information that will help them adjust to WKU and life in the U.S. Topics include checking in to the university system, learning your responsibility to maintain legal status in the States, and how to obtain your health insurance card.
ALL new visiting scholars MUST attend a MANDATORY international scholar check-in and be at orientation at ISSS within the first week of their arrival to Bowling Green. Failure to attend the orientation at ISSS within 30 days after the start date that is listed on the DS-2019 form will result in complications in your visiting scholars’ immigration status.