Health insurance for J2 dependents

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Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:05 am

Health insurance for J2 dependents

Post by Arbitrary » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:40 am

Hi all,

This September I'll be starting the PhD program at The University of Chicago. The financial offer includes health insurance coverage for myself (nearly 4k a year). I intend to travel to the US with my spouse, and we recently received our J1/J2 visas.
Under the terms of the visa, my spouse is required to obtain a health insurance that meets some standards. The uni. allows her to be included in my health insurance program, but at a cost which seems rather steep
(~6k a year).
I would like to draw upon the collective experience of the international forum users. Can you inform me of how much it is reasonable to pay for a J2 dependent health insurance per year? Any insights from current/past UChicago grads would be especially appreciated.

Thanks in advance :)

Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Health insurance for J2 dependents

Post by TakeruK » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:46 pm

I am in the same situation. I'm on J1, my spouse is J2 and the spouse insurance at my school is $7k/year. It's really expensive because very few people put their spouses on this plan (because it's really expensive....yeah Catch-22!). We had no choice for awhile and that really sucked.

However, you should have a choice. You can call private insurance providers and get a quote for a plan for your spouse. The requirement for insurance does not mean you have to get it from the school. There are a lot of affordable plans on the Exchange/Marketplace (i.e. the "obamacare" plans). It might be hard to set this up before you arrive, so one option is to enroll your spouse on the student plan for a limited time only and then switch. At my school, you can enroll / remove a spouse/dependent from your plan every 4 months.

My spouse's current plan is $220/month. There are co-pays and other costs when we get health care too though. For my spouse, the current annual cost on healthcare (includes all prescriptions etc.) is about $4000/year. But it can be more/less depending on what care your spouse needs!

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