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Health Insurance


The US Department of State requires all J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents to carry health, repatriation and medical evacuation coverage during the period of time they are participating in the Exchange Visitor Program.  An Exchange Visitor’s visa status will be terminated if it is determined that the EV and accompanying dependents willfully failed to remain in compliance.

Exchange Visitors do not need to buy health coverage prior to arrival in the US; however, they must have funds available to purchase it for themselves and their dependents after their arrival on campus. Payment must be made either with a credit or debit card.


  1. Unlimited coverage per Injury or Sickness.
  2. Unlimited coverage for essential benefits, including hospitalizations, doctor services, prescription drugs, rehabilitation and mental health services, pregnancy, and newborn care. A complete list of essential benefits can be found at:
  3. Coverage for preventative care at 100% in network including immunizations, physicals exams/screenings, and birth control. A complete list of preventive services can be found at:
  4. 80% of medical expenses must be paid by the insurance company you have coverage with.
  5. Covered Expenses related to pregnancy.
  6. Pre-existing Conditions cannot be excluded for any Covered Persons.
  7. The issuing company must have a phone contact within the United States.
  8. Proof of coverage must be provided in English and U.S. currency only.
  9. $10,000 coverage for medical evacuation (medical evacuation provides transportation to your home country in the event of a medical emergency).
  10. $10,000 coverage for repatriation (repatriation provides transportation to your home country in the event of death).

NOTE: Any benefits with a waiting period in force will NOT meet the guidelines to waive coverage.

UK's Minimum Health Coverage Criteria              

Please note that the University of Kentucky Health Coverage requirements exceed those of the Exchange Visitor Program. The requirements of that program are inadequate because they have not been updated in recent years and do not cover current medical costs.

If an Exchange Visitor has Health Coverage from another source, it MUST meet ALL the required specifications listed above. If a non-UK health plan is used, a letter from the issuing company written on company letterhead is required.  The letter should list ALL the Required Health Insurance Specifications EXACTLY as listed above and make a statement that their health plan covers ALL UK's requirements.  We are not permitted to review health plan policies or benefit summaries. Give this letter from the health plan company to your J-1 Advisor when you have your initial meeting. Only the letter along with a completed health plan waiver from your J-1 Advisor will satisfy the health coverage requirement.

Upon arrival, the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Health Plan can be purchased independently online by following the instructions below.  If assistance is needed, please email, to make an appointment for assistance.  Coverage begins the day after enrollment.  A J-2 cannot purchase insurance separately from the J-1.

To enroll for the Student Health Plan, follow the directions below, or you may also follow the STEP by STEP guide at the link at the bottom of the page.

1. Visit

2. Click on the “Enrollment” tab.  Then choose "Visiting Scholar Online Enrollment."

3. Follow directions to enroll yourself and/or any dependents.  In the 'Special Code" field, you will use code "vs2016."

4. Save confirmation e-mail sent within minutes of enrollment completion.

5. Insurance proof must be given within three days to the J-1 Advisor.
Plan beginning and ending dates

Although the dates of this plan may not match your stay exactly, the SHP permits Visiting Scholars to purchase coverage for less than the entire benefit year (8/15/16-8/14/17) when needed. The UK plan is available in six (6) 2-month periods per benefit year.  These dates and rates cannot be changed to match your arrival or departure dates.

  1st Special
2nd Special
3rd Special
4th Special
5th Special
6th Special
Scholar $362 $362 $362 $362 $362 $362
Spouse $362 $362 $362 $362 $362 $362
1 Child $362 $362 $362 $362 $362 $362
2+ Children $724 $724 $724 $724 $724 $724

Enrolling in the plan

You will need a local address, a UK ID number (Excluding the beginning 9: Please ask your department for assistance if necessary) and a credit or debit card to enroll in the UK Student Health Plan online. 


Note:  If you must purchase health coverage before you have been assigned a UK ID number, use your 8-digit date of birth (for example: if your birthday is May 31, 1978, you would enter "05311978") to enroll in the plan.  You must contact the company at (855) 856-2385 when you receive your UK ID number to update your account.


You can purchase the number of periods you need in one transaction, or you may return to the website to purchase additional coverage periods at a later time. Remember, you must have qualifying coverage for your entire stay at UK.