Health Insurance for J-2 Dependents

An employee's deductions are pre-tax if they enroll their dependent during Open Enrollment or their initial 30 day window. The deductions will be post-tax if if the employee enrolls their dependent at any other time.


The J-2 visa is a dependent visa. Eligible dependents are the spouse and/or unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the J-1 exchange visitor.

J Exchange visa regulations require J-1s to provide their dependents with adequate health insurance. The University of Minnesota has a mandatory insurance requirement for all J-ls and J-2s.


For dependents who arrive in the U.S. outside of Open Enrollment and the 30 day event window (mid-year change), enrollment will occur with a manual process of an application. If a J-2 dependent arrives during a period that is not Open Enrollment or during the J-1 scholar’s 30-day event window, the employee will no longer be able to have their premiums removed from their paycheck pre-tax. Instead, they receive a mailed bill each month for the cost of both the employee's and dependent(s)’ benefits until the end of the calendar year or when the dependent(s) end their J-2 status.

During the next Open Enrollment period (November), the UMN’s Total Compensation office will then enroll the employee and dependent(s) for the upcoming calendar year. Once the new year begins, the employee's and dependent(s)’ premiums will be removed from the employee’s paycheck pre-tax, and the employee will no longer receive a paper bill. The change from after-tax to pre-tax should happen automatically, but departments and scholars are encouraged to confirm this change has been made with the Total Compensation Office.

If an employee’s dependents leave the U.S. and end their J-2 status during the year, the employee will return to having their deductions automatically removed from their paycheck pre-tax. If a dependent leaves the country but plans to return, the dependent must be out of the country for 90 days or more before they can be removed from the insurance plan. They will then be added back when they return and the scholar must mail their premiums post-tax.

An employee’s (and dependent’s) benefits may be canceled if their premiums are not received by the date shown on their statement. A Final Notice will be mailed before coverage is to end, advising of the date that coverage will terminate unless the payment has been received by that date. Coverage would be canceled retroactively to the first day of the payroll period for which the unpaid premium was due.

Please contact the Employee Benefits Service Center with questions about benefits billing: 612-624- UOHR (612-624-8647) or 800-756-2363 or [email protected].

Initial Entry Into the U.S.: Documentation Required

The Form DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. The form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States.

Each dependent must also have have their own DS-2019 and a J-2 visa stamp to enter the U.S. in J-2 status. The DS-2019 is a legal document, and it must reflect accurate information. The DS-2019 document captures the necessary information and is sufficient documentation required by the Total Compensation office for adding a dependent and for dependent eligibility verification.

Last updated: June 4, 2021