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Dear students,

CIU has long required that students have health insurance coverage to provide for any medical needs that might arise while enrolled at CIU.  In order to meet that requirement, CIU has worked with an insurance provider to offer insurance to those who did not have their own plan.  Some students did not necessarily want this insurance but were required to purchase it in order to meet CIU’s requirement.  With the arrival of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “Obamacare”) the federal government has made it a requirement for all U.S. citizens to have basic medical insurance coverage (or pay a fine with their federal income tax).  This has alleviated the need for CIU to monitor and require students to purchase insurance through our provider, a very costly and time consuming process for several employees at CIU.

Therefore, beginning this fall, CIU will no longer be offering the option to purchase insurance through a vendor working directly with CIU.  The vast majority of you (the students) will be unaffected by this because you already have your own insurance or are covered under someone else’s policy.  For a few of you, and most international students, you will need to purchase your own insurance.  Information for purchasing insurance will be listed below.

CIU will still require the policy information on the Medical form completed for Health Services and you must update that information whenever it changes.  It is essential information for us in case you are injured and need medical services or hospitalization while enrolled. 

Note: If you are currently under an AIG insurance policy purchased as a student, your current coverage will continue through the summer and you will need a new policy effective in August, 2016. 


How Do I Purchase Medical Insurance (International Students see the lower section):

You can begin to shop for insurance through several places:


A local company, South Risk Management, can assist you as their benefit counselors are proficient at navigating the government systems to see if you qualify for a Federal Tax Subsidy perhaps making your monthly costs lower. They also can answer questions about doctor networks and prescription medication coverage as well. You can start with this website to see various plan designs and costs or call this toll free number (844) 823-9109.


Someone from South Risk or the Cason Group will be coming to campus in mid-April to meet in person with anyone who would like help navigating their health care purchase.


Also, the internet is a good resource for learning and investigating options and requirements if you prefer:




International Student Information (especially those on an F-1/F-2 visa):  While you are welcome to call South Risk to inquire about health insurance plans, there are some services working specifically with foreign students and they may be able to offer you a lower price for your medical coverage.

Company Name: International Student Insurance


Company Name: ISO Insurance:



For any questions regarding this letter, please contact the Student Life Office.  While several offices and administrators have collaborated on this decision, we will seek to answer your question the best we can in as timely a fashion as we can.


Remember, if you are currently covered by an AIG policy purchased in relation to your status as a CIU student, the policy is effective until August.  You can look into insurance now and set it up so that it becomes the active policy once your AIG policy expires.


Thank you,


Rick Swift

Dean of Student Life

Columbia International University

7435 Monticello Rd. | Columbia, SC 29203 | (800) 777-2227

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