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International Student and Scholar Support

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Secure Health Insurance

All University of South Carolina students are required to have health insurance while enrolled in classes at USC. You will automatically be enrolled in the Student Health insurance plan that USC offers. However, if you have a different health insurance plan that you would prefer to use, you will need to waive out of USC's insurance. Read below for more details.

What you should know about USC's student health insurance plan:

  • Detailed information about USC's student health insurance plan can be found through University Health Services.
  • The charge for USC's insurance will appear on your tuition and fee bill every semester. The cost of the University health insurance plan can be found on the University Heath Services Website.
  • It is your responsibility to understand the benefits and restrictions of your insurance plan. All information regarding USC's insurance plan can be found on the Student Insurance BCBS website.
  • To receive your insurance card, you will need to enroll online and submit your information to BCBS. If you do not have a U.S. address yet, you may list the International Student Services address for the purposes of receiving your card. You may also download your insurance card from the BCBS website.
PhD Students and Graduate Assistants: 

You can find details about the health insurance subsidy for full-time PhD students and graduate assistants on the Graduate School website


Waiving out of the university health insurance plan:

Refer to the University Health Services website for more comprehensive information on waiving out of the University health insurance.

If you plan to use insurance other than what is provided by USC, you will need to take steps every semester to "waive out" of USC's plan. Further details for waiving out are available here. You must waive out every Fall and Spring before the waiver deadline.

You can only waive out of USC's insurance if you have a health insurance plan that meets all of the waiver requirements.  If you fail to waive out of USC's insurance, you will be charged for the university provided health insurance, even if you have an alternative plan.  Below are a few commonly approved plans that are typically acceptable for the waiver process. The information provided here is for general guidance only and is not intended to be an endorsement of any specific company or services.

If you are an F-1 international student who will enroll in classes from outside the U.S.:
  1. Complete the Immigration Record Update Form, which can be found in the ISS Forms Library.
  2. Next, you should complete this form instead of going through the waiver process. This form will be submitted directly to University Health Services. 

Frequently Asked Questions about waiving the university heath insurance plan:

Waiving out means that a student shows they are already covered by a health insurance plan that meets minimum requirements and does not need the student health insurance coverage. If the waiver is approved, the premium fee will be removed from the student’s tuition bill.

Students will receive an email typically within 48 hours of entering their health insurance information on the secure web-site from Academic Health Plans (the company handling the waiver process for Blue Cross Blue Shield), confirming that their waiver has been accepted. Please remember to check your spam email account.

The Student Health Insurance Plan fee will automatically be removed from a student’s tuition bill after the waiver has been accepted. If the fee is not removed, you may contact Student Health Services.

The deadline to waive out for a fall semester is typically early September. The deadline to waive out for a spring/summer semester is typically at the beginning of February. For more details, see the University Health Service website.

You can submit an appeal if your waiver is denied and you have questions. These appeals must be submitted to University Health Services’ Health Insurance Assistance Office either by email or by phone (803-777-3175, optin 4). Each appeal will be carefully reviewed. 

Contact Academic Health Plans by calling 855-844-3015.

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