Medical costs in the USA are very high, and even a minor illness or accident can result in a large medical bill. For this reason, all Whatcom Community College international students are required to have medical and accident insurance at all times throughout their studies.
In order to protect students and to make insurance enrollment as simple as possible, Whatcom has contracted with Lewer Health Insurance Company for a comprehensive and convenient student health plan.
Maximum Per Accident or Sickness: $500,000
Annual Maximum (consecutive 12 months): $500,000
Student Cost for Office/Clinic Visit: $20
Student Cost for Hospital Visit (non-emergency): $100
Preventative Care Services: Covered at 50% up to $250 per year
Ambulance Services: Covered at 100%
Prescriptions: Covered at 50%
Mental Health/Substance Abuse: Maximum of 10 visits per year
Medical Evacuation: $50,000
Please note: Lewer health insurance is affiliated with a network of health care providers (PPOs) under the CIGNA group of insurance companies. The figures shown above are for any doctor or clinic within the CIGNA PPO network. Costs for using a doctor outside of the Cigna PPO network may be higher.
For details about what Lewer insurance covers, please see the LewerMark website: http://www.lewermark.com/whatcom
Seeking medical treatment
In the US, hospitals are used primarily in emergency situations only. If a student needs treatment for a minor injury or illness, or for routine medical care, he should go to a walk-in medical clinic (no appointment needed) or make an appointment to see a general practice doctor or specialist. To find a doctor or specialist that is covered by Lewer insurance, please see the Related Links column.
Lewer health insurance is paid quarterly and is automatically added to the student’s bill each quarter at registration. The cost per quarter is $336.
For new students: health insurance coverage begins when the student enters the U.S., up to 30 days before classes begin and ends one day before the next quarter's classes begin
For current students: coverage begins the first day of the quarter and ends one day before the next quarter's classes begin.
We strongly recommend that students continue their insurance during the vacation quarter to ensure they have adequate coverage. Students are allowed to “opt out” of Lewer insurance during a vacation quarter; however, a student who “opts out” of Lewer would be without health and accident insurance from the day the vacation quarter begins until the first day of the quarter that the student returns to Whatcom. Please note that the Lewer insurance policy provides coverage in all countries except the student's home country.
Completion of Program
After completing their program, students are covered for 30 days from the last day of their final quarter before returning home. Students can purchase additional insurance for coverage for the entire 60 days of grace period allowed under F-1 regulations Students who transfer from Whatcom to another institution will not be covered beyond the last day of their final quarter at WCC.
Students who are approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT) may continue their Lewer insurance for up to 12 months from their graduation date.