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 Plan (SHP) offered through AIG, OR
- Request a waiver of
the Winthrop University sponsored policy by submitting a waiver request to
AIG. Waiving the Winthrop SHP 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 Student Health Plan (SHP)
The Winthrop University SHP insures the student against major expenses accompanying
an accident, illness or hospitalization. The SHP 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 SHP plan for
2015-2016 are as follows:
- Fall (8/15/2015-01/05/2016) is TBA;
- Spring/Summer (1/06/2016-8/14/2016) is TBA;
- Annual (08/15/2015-08/14/2016 (if you choose) is TBA.
For the SHP 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 the SHP. 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 the SHP and
could be very expensive.
For additional information on the SHP please visit Frequently Asked Questions.
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 SHP. To request a waiver you must complete the waiver process online during the appropriate waiver request period.
- Requesting a waiver of the SHP 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 SHP 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.
J1 Exchange Visitor Insurance Requirements
J1 exchange visitors and their J2
dependents must be covered by sickness and accident insurance that meets the
Department of State (DOS) requirements for the duration of their participation
in Winthrop’s J-1 exchange visitor program. Failure to have such insurance
coverage may lead to loss of legal immigration status and termination from
Winthrop's exchange visitor program. These DOS regulations are published in the
Code of Federal Regulations [22 CFR 62.14].
As of May 15, 2015, minimum health
insurance coverage must provide:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or
- In case of death, repatriation of remains in the amount
- In case of serious illness or injury, payment of
expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to
his or her home country in the amount of $50,000;
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or
- Co-insurance (co-pay) not to exceed 25%
Winthrop’s Student Health Plan meets the DOS J-1 requirements. If you will enroll in the Winthrop
health plan, you must enroll prior to Open Enrollment and Waiver deadline;
otherwise, you may lose your eligibility to enroll until the next open
enrollment period at the beginning of the next semester. If you enroll in
Winthrop’s Student Health Plan, you must be prepared to pay for the plan at the
time of enrollment.
If you have insurance from an
outside company or government, your insurance must meet the above limits. Note:
repatriation and medical evacuation might not be included in your policy.
Please check your policy/coverage. If needed, consult with your insurance
company to add the repatriation and medical evacuation coverage to your policy.
The regulations continue:
"Exchange visitors who willfully fail to maintain the insurance coverage
set forth above . . . or who make material misrepresentations to the sponsor
[Winthrop University] concerning such coverage will be deemed to be in
violation of these regulations and will be subject to termination as an
exchange visitor." [22 CFR 62.14(i)]
All J-1 exchange visitors at
Winthrop must sign a Statement of Compliance form
with the International Center stating that they understand and will comply with
the J Exchange Visitor Program health insurance requirements as outlined 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 requirement that all international students have health insurance while enrolled at Winthrop University contact the International Center.