International Scholars

Required Health Insurance

To maintain a legal immigration status in the United States, J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents are required to enroll in a health insurance plan that both meets Ohio State’s and the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) health insurance requirements for the entire stay. As your host, Ohio State must report on your compliance with the immigration regulations. To participate in Ohio State’s J-1 program, you must enroll in a health insurance plan described below. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in an immigration status violation and require Ohio State to end your J-1 program, necessitating you to depart the U.S.

Ohio State’s J-1 program guidelines require you to select a health insurance plan offered by one of three insurance providers as follows, with few exceptions (see the Exception Request section for more details). Note that eligibility to enroll in any of the plans depends on employment or non-employment status in the U.S., but each provider offers a selection of plan options at different prices based on the level of insurance coverage. We advise you to review the plans carefully and gather additional information as needed to select the best plan for you and your family’s circumstances.

The three provider names and plans are:

  1. Gallagher Accident and Sickness Plans
  2. Ohio State Plans*
  3. Nationwide Children’s Hospital Plans*

*A supplemental insurance plan, called Emergency Travel Assistance, is required for medical evacuation and repatriation coverage for those on Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital plans. See more information below.

Gallagher Accident and Sickness Plans

All J-1 scholars, regardless of employment status, are eligible to enroll in one of these plans. However, these plans are designed for J-1 scholars not employed in the United States.

Ohio State Plans

If you are employed by Ohio State, you are eligible to enroll in an employer-based health insurance plan

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Plans

If you are employed by Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), you are eligible to enroll in an employer-based health insurance plan.

Exception Request

You may be eligible to enroll in a health insurance plan not listed above if your situation fits one of the following:

 Follow these instructions to be considered for an Exception Request:

Important advice regarding medical costs, dependents and pregnancy

Medical costs in the United States can be expensive, so please be aware of the following:

Dependent family members may come with you or visit, so consider the following factors:

If you or your J-2 dependent spouse becomes pregnant during your stay, consider:


This information cannot cover every situation, and the information and insurance policies may change. If you have additional questions, email