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Dependent Health Insurance for J2 and F2

Many colleges and universities offer group health insurance plans for their international students and visiting scholars. In the past, many students and scholars were able to include their children and spouses (holders of J2 or F2 visas) on their school’s group plan as well. Now, with many schools offering Affordable Care Act compliant group plans, we are seeing a trend where schools are no longer extending coverage to spouses and children, and if they are, they are offering coverage at sometimes double or triple the price.

The Cause

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all compliant insurance plans to have an unlimited policy maximum, along with coverage for maternity, preventative care, pre-existing conditions with no waiting period, among other benefits. As many schools adopt this type of coverage for their students, they are seeing their rates climb to unprecedented levels to accommodate these new benefits. Carriers are also slowly getting more claims experience as we are now in the second year on these ACA compliant plans, and this experience is showing them that dependents are a leading cause of increased claims. Many dependents do not have authorization to work, and are of the age to start a family – which leads to increased maternity claims, amongst other things, that are expensive in the USA.

The Effect

As dependents appear to be a leading cause of increased claims in many cases, schools are choosing to make two primary changes to their group insurance plans:

  1. Remove dependents – Many schools have decided to remove dependent coverage from their plans, forcing spouses and dependents to look elsewhere for coverage. These spouses and children may still need to meet certain insurance minimums set forth by their school, or if they are on a J2 visa, they must also have a plan that meets the Department of State Insurance Requirements.
  2. Increased premiums – Some schools have decided to keep dependents on their insurance plan, however they have increased the rates, sometimes 2-3 times more than the insurance plan for a regular international student or scholar.

If you are a dependent facing one of these options, you are not alone. There are many dependents that are looking for insurance coverage while they are in the US, looking to stay compliant with their visa and with their school’s health insurance minimums.

The Solution

If your school is not offering an insurance plan for dependents, or if the plan is out of your price range, then you can purchase an individual insurance plan for your family instead. You’ll need to be aware that many international student specific plans do not allow you to add dependents, because of the high usage rate. To avoid any problems, check the plan’s eligibility to make sure that dependents are eligible first.

There are many plans out there that work great for dependents (with or without the student or scholar), meet the J visa requirements, and are typically more affordable than your school’s group insurance plan. Here are three popular individual plans that work well for dependents depending on how long you need coverage and the type of coverage your family needs:

  • Travel Medical
    Less than one year
    The Travel Medical plan is an excellent options for children and spouses needing coverage for less than one year, and children under 9 are free for each parent that is insured on the plan. This Travel Medical policy covers accidents and illnesses that occur on the plan, including coverage for doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription medication, medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and more. This plan provides families with flexibility, allowing them to choose the duration of coverage, from as little as 5 days up to 364 days. This plan does not cover wellness, maternity, organized sports, pre-existing conditions or mental health – and will only cover families outside their home country.

 >>Learn more and apply

  • Patriot Travel
    Less than two years
    The Patriot Travel plan is another excellent option for families needing up to two years of coverage. Like the Travel Medical, it is designed to cover new accidents and illnesses that happen on the plan, and will cover doctor visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. Similarly, it will not cover wellness, maternity, organized sports, pre-existing conditions or mental health, and will only cover families outside their home country. This is an excellent option for families wanting to cover those “just in case” situations, such as colds, injuries, or emergencies, allowing you to purchase one year and renew for a second year.

>>Learn more and apply

  • Global Medical
    One year or more
    The Global Medical plan is a great plan for those families either looking for comprehensive coverage, or are needing long-term coverage. This plan provides worldwide coverage, including in your home country, covering accidents and illnesses no matter where they happen. This plan is annually renewable and available in four levels, allowing you to choose the most appropriate coverage. Depending on the plan level, your insurance plan will cover you for maternity, vision, dental, wellness and you can also get coverage for pre-existing conditions. This insurance plan is medical underwritten, so you will need to disclose your medical health history, which will then be evaluated by an underwriter within 5 days of submission. This plan also allow payment flexibility, where you can choose to pay annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly.

>>Learn more and apply

If you or someone you know needs help finding dependent coverage, please contact one of our representatives who can help you determine which is the best insurance option for you and your family.

Posted by Jennifer Frankel

Jennifer is the Marketing Director at International Student Insurance. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Florida where she holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has lived and worked abroad in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and England, and traveled extensively in South America, Europe and Asia.

40 thoughts on “Dependent Health Insurance for J2 and F2”

sandeep Akula says:

Iam came to US on f2 visa, I need some health insurance which I can afford. Please help me.thank you in advance.

Hi Sandeep, we would be happy to help. Have you checked out our Travel Medical plan? You can purchase this plan as a F2 visa holder and you can purchase as little as 5 days up to one year.

Shravya says:

Hi I’m on an f2 visa in Charlotte, North Carolina, I’m currently on HCC short term insurance where I pay $100 a month but that doesn’t cover maternity cost.

I would like to know if I could find insurance that covers maternity as I’m 32 years old and want to start a family. I saw your website and I thought you’ll could help me.

Hi Shravya, good morning and thanks for your message! We would be happy to help, how long are you looking for coverage? One good option is our Major Medical insurance plan which covers maternity on the Platinum level. You can review benefits right online here: http://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/major-medical-insurance/benefits.php

Please contact us directly and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation and find the best plan for you.

Joy says:

I need health insurance for children bof dependant on student visa. Please which one do you advice?

Hi Joy,

If both of your children are on F2 visas and require coverage for several years, our Global Medical plan is an excellent choice and you can find additional information here: http://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/major-medical-insurance/

Peter yang says:

Hi Jennifer ,
My wife with J2 Visa has a pregnancy for 4 months. According to the expected date, she will give a childbirth in July in America. But our insurance bought doesn’t cover the pregnancy. The costs will be very high to bear if payed by myself. Therefore, I hope you help me, or provide some information. Is there a better solution? Are there the insurances covering already pregnancy?

Hi Peter,

It may be best for you to contact your school and see if they offer an insurance plan through which dependents can have coverage.

Peter yang says:

If Platinum plan is Suitable for my wife maternity?

Harika says:

Hi i am a student on f1 and i am planning to take health insurance for my daughter and husband for long term, i have seen the travel insurance but i need this for long term can we extend it after one year or is there any other plan for long term. Please help me with this

Hi Harika,

A great plan for annually-renewable coverage is our Global Medical Plan. You can learn more here: http://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/major-medical-insurance/

Acg says:

Currently in a F2 visa and 5 weeks pregnant, need insurance that covers maternity… Any options? Please Help

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Acg,

Unfortunately we do not have a plan that will cover you for the pregnancy if you’re already pregnant. However, our Atlas Travel plan will cover treatment for complications of pregnancy during the first 26 weeks of pregnancy. You might also want to check out a well woman clinic as they often have discounted rates for eligible maternity costs.



Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Payal,

Thanks for visiting. We’re happy to help you find a plan for your daughter. I’ve sent you an email so we can gather further information on her and find a plan that will fit her needs.


Hello, I am currently live in Maryland, looking for F1 and F2 insurance which cover emergency room. but not cost too high.

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Jesmin,

Thanks for visiting. We have a few great options for you and your dependent. I’ve emailed you more information, please feel free to reply with any questions you have.

Jaf says:

I am a student my husband and baby 10 months here in U.S. .I am looking for Insuarence like family or urgently for my baby as need to take the immunisation . I am really confused and worried what Insuarence we can take .We are eligible to get state one or my baby get CHIP plan ? I don’t know pls help me navigate me . I want minimal cost plan.

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Jaf,

Thanks for visiting. We’re only able to assist you with finding a private insurance plan option. We do not have one that will cover your baby for wellness if she only needs coverage for 10 months, however, we do have a great option to cover her and your husband for new injuries and illnesses that may occur while on the plan. We suggest checking out the International Travel Medical plan.

Shilpa says:

I would like to take insurance for my J2 dependents, spouse and kid. Kindly suggest the medical insurance which is affordable.

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Shilpa,

Thanks for your message. We have a number of good options for them. If they need coverage for one year or less the International Travel Medical plan is a good option. If they need coverage for more than one year then our Global Medical plan might be a better option. I’ve also emailed you with further details.

Kond says:

Hi, I am on F2 visa and I would like to get best insurance plans for 1 or 2 years.

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Kond,

Thanks for your blog comment.

One great option for those on an F2 visa is the Patriot Travel plan. I’ve emailed you more details on this plan to review. Let us know if you have any questions! Patriot Travel plan

Hillary says:

I am currently an F2 visa holder and I will probably be in the United States for the next 3 years while my husband is in Shcool and I am wondering what the best option is for health insurance. Thank you!


Hi Hillary,

Thanks for your blog comment.

A great option for those on an F2 visa is the Global Medical plan if you need a plan for at least 3 years. I have sent you more details to your email. Please let us know if you have any more questions.

Arvind Keprate says:


I will be travelling to US on 13th September along with my wife, on J1 and J2 visa respectively. My insurance is being covered by my sponsor, could you please guide me how can I take insurance for my wife. Also will the CBP officer look at our insurance documents at the port of entry?

Best Regards,
Arvind Keprate

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Arvind,

Thanks for your blog comment. Our Travel medical plan is a great option to cover your wife while on a J2 visa. She can have coverage for as little as 5 days up to 364 with this plan. It will also meet the J visa requirements when she chooses a $500 or less deductible and $100,000 or more in coverage. We’ve also sent you an email with further information on this plan.

Alice says:


I’m living in Pennsylvania with my husband. He is holding F1 status, thus, I’m on F2. I’m looking for an affordable and long term health insurance for myself.

How can I know whether the insurance that I choose will be accepted by the hospital/doctor nearby me?
Also if in the future, I get pregnant, which plan can provide pregnancy coverage?
Are there any conditions for applying your insurance plans?

Thanks a lot!

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Alice,

If you would like a plan that includes maternity then you will want to check out our Global Medical plan– platinum level. I have emailed you more information on this plan.

Oveis says:

my wife came to US on F-2 Visa two weeks ago from Iran. I wanted to buy her Travel Insurance, but I got a following message: “We’re sorry, but we are unable to accept your application due to U.S. economic sanctions and embargo programs and/or other applicable trade sanction laws. ”

Can you help me with that?

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Oveis,

Thanks for your message, we’re sorry to hear that you weren’t able to purchase that plan. However, we do have a similar plan that will not give you an error message: the Patriot Travel plan. You can buy it online here.

Fan says:

Hi, I am a postdoc with J-1 Visa and the insurance is covered by my university. I need to buy insurance for my wife (J-2 Visa), we need the insurance to cover maternity and other basic requirements. The only choice is Global Medical plan– platinum level? The price seems very high. Can you help us with this?

Bryanna Davis says:

Hi Fan,

Thanks for your message. Yes, as a dependent the Global Medical (platinum) will be the option if she would like maternity coverage. We do have other more economical options available for dependents, however, they will not include maternity. You can view one such option here, it’s the Patriot Travel plan.

Sandy says:

Hello Iam here on opt and my wife and 8 months baby are joining me here , so can’t I get the insurance coverage for them,I have insurance with simple Heath I took privately not from the university , but I am unable to cover them in that , what can I do ?

Leah Hammond says:

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for visiting our blog!

The Atlas Travel plan offers international travel medical insurance coverage anywhere outside of your home country from as little as 5 days up to one year and is a great option for dependent coverage. This plan is designed to cover new eligible injuries and illnesses and allows you to choose your policy maximum (from $50,000 to $1,000,000), as well as your deductible (from $0 to $2,500).

Benefits include:
– Inpatient and outpatient services
– Prescription medications
– Emergency medical evacuation/ repatriation
– Extreme sports
– Personal liability

To view a more information on this plan, please visit the following link:

Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything else we can assist with!

Monil says:

I am on student visa and need health Insurance for my daughter. Could you tell me which plan is good.

Hello Monil,

Thank you for visiting our blog. We have a great plan called the Atlas Travel plan that would give coverage to your daughter outside of her home country for any new, eligible illnesses or injuries. The Atlas plan can only be purchased for up to 364 days and it will give you coverage for hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, prescription medication, and more. You can view more information here: https://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/travel-medical-insurance/benefits.php

Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything else we can assist with!

Mateen says:

I am visiting scholar in UCDavis. I want to bring my family. I have six month old daughter. My wife is three month pregnant. Is there any plan which cover my daughter and maternity of my wife?.Please suggest me appropriate plan.

Leah Hammond says:

Hi Mateen,

Thank you for visiting our blog!

Our Atlas Travel Medical plan is a great option for your wife and daughter, as this plan is designed to offer coverage for anyone traveling outside of their home country for as little as 5 days up to 364 days. This plan is designed to offer coverage for new eligible injuries and illnesses that occur after the effective start date of the plan. Unfortunately, we do not have any plans that will cover maternity for someone that is already pregnant. However, the Atlas Travel plan will offer limited benefits for complications of pregnancy:

Treatment for complications of pregnancy during the first 26 weeks of pregnancy is covered under this insurance. Complications of Pregnancy is defined as: Illnesses whose diagnoses are distinct from pregnancy, but are adversely affected by pregnancy or caused by pregnancy, and not associated with a normal pregnancy. This includes: ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, hyperemesis gravidarum, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, missed abortion and conditions of comparable severity.

Benefits of this plan include:
– Inpatient and outpatient services
– Prescription medications
– Emergency medical evacuation/ repatriation
– Extreme sports
– Personal liability

The plan also provides you with the flexibility to choose your maximum coverage limit (from $50,000 to $1,000,000) and deductible (from $0 to $2,500) so you can choose the levels you need.

The daily rate on this plan including the USA is (age 18-29):
$1.69 per day with a $0 deductible and $50,000 policy maximum
$1.49 per day with a $100 deductible and $50,000 policy maximum

Please visit our website to apply instantly online and find out more details about the plan:

Please let us know if you have any questions or need further help.

Chu-Wen Cheng says:

I would like to get my 5 years old kid who is a F-2 VISA holder enrolling to Gonzalez Elementary School for kindergarten in Texas. She is required to have a insurance which is too expensive if I purchase form the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. I will probably be in the United States for the next 3 years to get my degree and I am wondering what the best option is for my kid’s health insurance to get enrolling at Gonzalez Elementary School for kindergarten in Texas. Thank you!

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We offer a range of international health and travel insurance plans for both students and non-students including:

Student Secure

International Student Health Insurance for full time students around the world.

Atlas Travel

International Travel Medical Insurance for anyone outside of their home country.

Global Medical

International Major Medical Insurance for those needing long term coverage.

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