Arrival Information

Health Insurance

All J-1 Scholars and their J-2 dependents are required to have UW-Madison approved health insurance coverage for the duration of their J-1 program. J-1 Scholars must purchase SHIP for themselves and any visa dependents or file a qualifying waiver.

Individual and private insurance plans (including Marketplace and travel plans) DO NOT qualify.

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Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

All unpaid J-1 scholars and their J-2 are required to enroll in the SHIP insurance the duration of their J-1 program. Inquiries about the billing cycles, coverage of services, and other insurance information should be directed to the SHIP office at You may also visit their office at 333 East Campus Mall on the 7th floor during business hours.

You must register yourself and any J-2 dependents within 31 days of either the DS-2019 start date or entry date (whichever is later). If you miss this deadline, there is a $100 administrative fee.

Please bring a copy of your current DS-2019 forms and passports for both you and your J-2 dependents.

Employer Sponsored Health Insurance (State Group Health (SGH))

Scholars who have a paid appointment from UW–Madison may qualify for employer sponsored health insurance. Please contact your department administrator or HR representative for information on how to sign up for employee benefits.

Please file a waiver with the SHIP office if you sign up for employee sponsored health insurance.

Mandatory J-1 Orientation

All J-1 scholars are required to join one of our orientations. Orientations are currently hosted every Tuesday at 10 am over Zoom.

Scholars will receive a link to the orientation once they have completed the IFSS check-in process.

If you are not able to attend orientation due to a teaching conflict, please email our office to schedule an alternate time.

For helpful information to refer to throughout your time here at UW–Madison, please view our During your Program page.