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International Center

Health Insurance

Winthrop University requires all international students, and their dependents, to maintain a certain level of health insurance while enrolled as a student at Winthrop University.  All major universities have a similar requirement. 

All undergraduate and graduate students are required to either:

  • Purchase the Winthrop University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan offered through AIG, OR
  • Request a waiver of the Winthrop University sponsored policy by submitting a waiver request to AIG.  Waiving the Winthrop Health Insurance Plan means that you provide documentation of enrollment in a comparable health insurance plan that meets the waiver requirements detailed at the end of this page.

Winthrop University Health Insurance Plan

The Winthrop University Student Health Insurance Plan insures the student against major expenses accompanying an accident, illness or hospitalization. The Health Plan is administered by AIG.   This company specializes in health plans for students and is the largest provider of student health insurance in the Southeast. Specific details of the insurance policy are found in the plan summary.

International students will be charged for their insurance twice a year, along with their tuition, housing and other expenses, and will pay directly to the Winthrop Cashier’s Office or on-line, just as all other student charges are paid.  Students should be prepared to pay for their health insurance by the first day of classes for each fall and spring semester. 

The cost of the AIG plan for 2014-2015 are as follows:

  • Fall (8/15/2014-01/05/2015) is $712;
  • Spring/Summer (1/06/2015-8/14/2015) is $980;
  • Annual (08/15/2014-08/14/2015 (if you choose) is $1,692.

For the AIG Health Plan to be most effective, students should go directly to Winthrop’s Health and Counseling Services if there is a health concern. Health and Counseling Services is located on the second floor of Crawford Hall (#17 on map). Health Services can typically provide the necessary treatment or service to students at a reduced cost as part of the cost of tuition and fees paid to Winthrop University.  However, if further medical care is required Health Services will refer you to an off-campus medical provider that will accept your AIG insurance plan. If you go to a medical provider off-campus without being referred by Health Services, the cost of the medical treatment may not be covered by AIG and could be very expensive.

Please note: if Health Services is closed for any reason, students are allowed to go directly to an off-campus UrgentCare Clinic or hospital emergency room without visiting them first.  Health Services provides information on what to do if medical care is needed and Health Services is closed after office hours or on weekends.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you do seek medical care on the weekends or when Health Services is closed you must provide Health Services with information on the medical treatment you received off-campus as soon as possible in order for your medical claim to be considered by AIG.

How Do I Request a Waiver of the Winthrop Health Insurance Policy?

Requesting a waiver of the Winthrop Health Insurance Plan means you have comparable health insurance coverage and you do not plan to purchase the Winthrop Health Insurance Plan offered through AIG. To request a waiver you must complete the waiver process online during the appropriate waiver request period.

Please note:

  • Requesting a waiver of the AIG policy is the student's responsibility. 
  • Winthrop University, including the International Center, is not responsible for recommending or reviewing insurance plans that a student may consider purchasing to submit for waiver purposes.
  • A waiver request must be renewed each fall and spring semester that the student is enrolled at Winthrop University.
  • A student must have the policy number, mailing address, telephone number, and website information for the insurance provider chosen for waiver purposes.
  • If an alternate insurance policy is not in English request an English translation.  The English translation will be useful in expediting the waiver process.  
  • If the student does not complete the waiver request prior to the request deadline the student will be automatically enrolled in the Winthrop Health Insurance Plan and the cost of the insurance will be added to the student’s fees for the semester.

To request a waiver the policy must meet the Essential Benefits requirement as defined by Section 1302(b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):

  • Coverage must begin on or before August 15 (for fall term) and January 6 (for spring term).
  • Coverage dates must include the semester academic dates, including summer, breaks and holidays.
  • Coverage that allows the insured student to receive benefits in South Carolina.
  • Coverage must be given for ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, physical therapy and rehabilitation services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services to include Dental and Vision care, chronic disease management, and pediatric services including oral and vision care.
  • Coverage amount of $100,000 USD per policy year, per illness/accident/injury. 
  • Coverage amount of $500,000 USD or greater aggregate per lifetime.
  • No pre-existing condition limitation.
  • A combined benefit of $100,000 USD for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.  
  • A deductible equal to or less than $1,000 USD.
  • An out-of-pocket maximum of $6,350 USD or less.
Additional Requirements for International Student

For J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents, the U.S. Department of State regulations require that the health insurance plan must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Part of a group benefits program offered to enrolled students by a designated sponsor, or
  • A health maintenance organization (HMO) that is federally-qualified as determined by the Health Care Financing Administration (HFCA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or
  • A Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) as determined by the Health Care Financing Administration (HFCA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or
  • Underwritten by an insurance company that has an AM Best Company rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, LTD. (ISI) rating of "A-" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or above.

Several important items to remember-

  • The cost of healthcare in the United States is very expensive and is the reason Winthrop University requires international students to have active health insurance.
  • If a student has insurance from an insurance provider outside the United States, the student may be required to pay their medical costs at the time of service.  It is then the students’ responsibility to request reimbursement of their costs from the insurance provider. 

For more information on the Health Insurance requirement for all international students contact the International Center.  

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International Center
701 Oakland Avenue
218 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-2340 (fax)
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