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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.

Plan highlights

Maximum Paid Per Accident or Sickness:  $500,000
Annual Maximum (consecutive 12 months): $500,000
Student Cost for Office/Clinic Visit (including acupuncture): $20 per visit*
Student Cost for Hospital Visit: $100 
Preventative Care Services: Covered at 100% up to $250 per year*
Ambulance Services: Covered at 100%
Prescriptions: Covered at 50%* 
Mental Health/Substance Abuse: Maximum of 30 visits per year*
Medical Evacuation: $50,000
Repatriation: $25,000

*Please note: Lewer student health insurance is affiliated with a network of health care providers (PPOs) under the First Health group of insurance companies. The figures shown above are for any doctor or clinic within the First Health PPO network. Costs for using a doctor outside of the First Health PPO network may be higher.

For more information about Lewer insurance, please see the Related Links or visit the LewerMark website:

Questions about Lewer insurance and COVID-19

Does my Lewer insurance cover COVID-19 related costs, for example testing and hospitalization?                                                                                                        

Lewer insurance coverage includes all COVID-related expenses the same as other illness. If you need to have a test for a travel requirement Lewer allows $250 per year in wellness coverage which can be applied to COVID-19 testing. Please contact International Programs for more details.

If I am taking classes online in my home country, do I have to pay for Lewer insurance?

Whatcom Community College’s policy states that all international students enrolled in classes are required to have adequate health insurance for the duration of their studies at the college.  As long as a student is enrolled in classes, Lewer insurance will be a required fee, added to the student’s account and payable with tuition.  The insurance coverage period includes all breaks and inter-term periods, travel to and from the home country, and the days and/or weeks between arriving in the US and the start of the next quarter.

**Special circumstances during the COVID-19 situation**
Due to the fact that Summer and Fall classes have moved online and many students are returning to their home countries for one or both quarters, WCC has modified the requirement for student health insurance for summer and fall quarters:

  • If you are remaining in the U.S. for all or part of summer or fall quarter – either enrolling or on vacation quarter - Lewer student health insurance will continue to be a required fee.

  • If you will be departing the U.S before summer quarter begins on June 29, 2020 – Lewer student health insurance will be optional for the quarter(s) that you will be in your home country.  Please contact International Programs for an insurance “opt-out” form.  


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, s/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 walk-in clinic or 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 current cost per quarter is $359.


Coverage Period

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.


Vacation Quarter

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.