Health care in the U.S. is expensive; it is therefore imperative (and sometimes required) to have medical insurance for yourself and any dependents with you for the duration of your stay.


Employees of Washington University in St. Louis who are benefits eligible can find information on the university health insurance plan on the Human Resources website.

Employees that are not benefits eligible should obtain insurance before coming to the U.S. There are providers that specialize in coverage for international students and scholars. Contact the OISS for more information.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Health Insurance Requirement

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program regulations require that J-1 Exchange Visitors (both student and scholar) and their J-2 dependents carry health insurance meeting specific minimum standards (Code of Federal Regulations – 22 CFR 62.14). Failure to maintain required insurance coverage can result in termination of J status. Exchange visitors who are not eligible for Washington University benefits must obtain minimum insurance coverage before coming to the United States. Because health care expenses in the United States can be costly, coverage in the amounts listed below may not be sufficient to cover all expenses for medical care, and higher levels of coverage may be considered. More information is available on the Maintaining J-1 Status page.


Types of Health Care

Routine Care

For basic, routine care, call a doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. There may be a wait for new patients. You should bring your translated medical records with you.

Urgent Care

Urgent care is a category of walk-in clinic focused on the delivery of care in a medical facility outside of a traditional emergency room. Urgent care centers primarily treat injuries or illnesses requiring immediate care, but not serious enough to require an ER visit. Most urgent care facilities have extended hours.

Emergency Care

For emergencies, call 911 or go to a hospital’s emergency room.