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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:

  • Request a waiver of the Winthrop University sponsored policy by submitting a waiver request to CHP Student Health.  Waiving the Winthrop insurance policy means that you provide documentation of enrollment in a comparable health insurance plan that meets the waiver requirements detailed below.

Winthrop University's Health Insurance Plan

The Winthrop University health insurance plan insures the student against major expenses accompanying an accident, illness or hospitalization. Winthrop's insurance policy is administered by CHP Student Health. 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 found at CHP Student Health.

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. 

For the Winthrop insurance 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. 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 CHP Student Health insurance. 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 CHP Student Health and could be very expensive.

For additional information on the Winthrop's insurance plan please contact the International Center

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

Requesting a waiver of Winthrop's insurance plan means you have comparable health insurance coverage and you do not plan to purchase the Winthrop policy. To request a waiver you must complete the waiver process online during the appropriate waiver request period.

Please note:

  • Requesting a waiver of the Winthrop health insurance 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's CHP Student Health 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 cover the following:

  • 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, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services (to include Dental and Vision care), and chronic disease management.
  • Unlimited aggregate maximum benefit per policy year per person covered.
  • No pre-existing condition limitation.
  • A combined benefit of $100,000 USD for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.  
  • An out-of-pocket limit per policy year not to exceed $6,350/individual and $12,700/family. 

Note: The covered benefits listed above are required for all plans according to the Affordable Care Act.

Also, there must be a combined benefit of $100,000 for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.

J1 Exchange Visitor Insurance Requirements 

J1 visa holders insurance must meet the minimum requirements listed above for waiver consideration. the U.S. Department of State regulations require that all exchange visitors (as well as their accompanying spouses and dependents) have insurance in effect that covers them for sickness or accidents during the time of their exchange visitor program. To waive Winthrop's insurance plan, the health insurance plan must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Underwritten by an insurance company that has a 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.
  • The policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country.  

Winthrop's insurance policy 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)]

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.  

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