Healthcare in the U.S.
The U.S. has a strong and well-known reputation for quality healthcare services, which include routine and preventive care, urgent care for accidents and emergencies, comprehensive health management for diagnosed conditions. Providers, both primary care physicians and specialists, must be trained and licensed to practice medicine. The system is focused individually, including physical and psychological well-being. While emergency care will be provided to anyone in need without question, healthcare services are extremely expensive. It is important to plan ahead for the health needs of yourself and your family while you are in the U.S.
The U.S. does not provide socialized medical care and currently there is no national system of health insurance coverage that will cover foreign nationals. Individuals must obtain healthcare coverage for themselves and their families through non-government providers. The specific benefits you are entitled to will depend on your insurance policy. Some plans include full or partial coverage for diagnostic laboratory tests, hospitalization, emergency services, and prescription medications; other plans cover only some of these services. Without adequate insurance to cover such expenses, these services can cost thousands of dollars.
All full-time students, scholars, and employees at the University of Rochester have access to U.S. health insurance through their affiliation with the University. UR policy requires that all full-time students maintain health insurance. If your family will be with you in Rochester, it is strongly advised that you purchase health insurance for your family as well. Health insurance can drastically reduce healthcare costs when you or your family members need medical care. It is a good idea to bring copies of your personal medical records with you to Rochester, along with records for any dependent family members joining you here.
Immigration rules require that all J-1 and J-2 exchange visitors maintain adequate U.S. health insurance. Coverage must meet or exceed minimum requirements set by the government for the duration of your program. Willful failure to obtain insurance that meets these standards may result in a termination of the principle J-1 Exchange Visitor record. Other visa categories do not carry the same requirement under U.S. regulations, but University requirements may also be in place. More importantly, U.S. health insurance is an important protection that all individuals are encouraged to have!