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
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
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.
- 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
- 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):
for International Student
- 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.
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
- 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.