All visiting scholars are required to have insurance coverage which meets the Department of State requirements (below) for the duration of their program. Failure to have appropriate health insurance coverage or canceling a plan is a violation of your immigration status and may result in termination of your SEVIS record.

U.S. Department of State minimum insurance requirements:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness (insurance should cover both emergency and non-emergency illnesses and accidents)
  • “Medical Evacuation” of $50,000 (to cover transportation costs back to home country in the event of serious illness or injury)
  • “Repatriation of Remains” of $25,000 (to cover transportation cost back to home country in the event of death)
  • Deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness
  • Covers any pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period
  • Includes provision for co-payment that does not exceed 25% co-pay by the Exchange Visitor
  • Does not exclude benefits for perils inherent to the activities of the Exchange Visitor’s program
  • Must be underwritten by an insurance company that meets the rating requirements of the USIA or is backed by the full faith and credit of the Exchange Visitor’s government

Things to Consider

  • One of the most important things to know about your insurance coverage is which in-network provider your insurance company works with.
    • When you purchase or renew your coverage, find out which major Peoria hospital system (OSF Saint Francis Medical or UnityPoint Health – Methodist) your insurance provider covers.
    • Different insurance companies work with different hospital and medical networks. If you go outside the medical network your insurance uses, you can accrue major medical expenses even if you have insurance.
  • In general, the higher monthly amount you pay (premium) for medical insurance, the more coverage and the less you would pay if you have major medical work done.
    • While many plans offer “cheaper” premiums, those plans may have more expensive deductibles, copays, and coinsurance or daily maximums as lower premiums frequently result in higher out-of-pocket costs and limited networks.
  • In general, even if you have insurance, you will still be expected to pay a “coinsurance” for any medical expenses. So if your plan has 75% coinsurance, you would be responsible for paying the remaining 25% of a medical expense.
  • Some health insurance plans do not cover prescriptions, so if you have medicine that you need to take regularly make sure that you have a provider that covers it.
    • Pharmacies within walking distance of campus are: CVS in Campustown and Walgreens or Alwan Pharmacy on Western Ave.
    • Pharmacies within driving distance or the CityLink line are: Target or Walmart or Kroger in East Peoria and Walgreens or Walmart on University.
  • Most health insurance plan will not include dental or vision coverage.
    • If you have glasses, you will want to make sure you pack an extra pair with you. If you need a new prescription, you should have this done at home.
    • If you have contacts, you will want to make sure you have a supply of contacts for the time you are in the U.S. If you need more, you should purchase this at home.
    • If you need a routine dental exam or a dental procedure, you should have this done at home
  • Some health insurance plans will not cover sports-related injuries, so if you wish to play intramural or intercollegiate sports, make sure you have insurance that covers it.
  • Some health insurance plans do not cover preventative medical care such as a yearly routine doctor’s visit or vaccines/immunizations or a woman’s wellness check-up.
  • Some health insurance plans do not cover maternity benefits, others only cover pregnancy if the conception is during the period of insurance coverage. Others will cover the delivery but not the routine pre- or post-natal care.

Acceptable Insurance Plans

We do not endorse any single insurance company but the options in the Acceptable Insurance Plans section with their listed plan will provide you with enough insurance coverage to meet Department of State requirements.