Health insurance problem affecting students and their dependents
Cornell University graduate students collected signatures to send to the school in order to attract attention to the growing health insurance problem affecting many of the students and their dependents. The university offers graduate students enrollment in a student health insurance program, and many of their dependents are also eligible to obtain coverage this way but many students feel the cost is excessive.
Around 7,800 graduate students attend the University and bring with them at least 1,200 dependents, including spouses, children under the age of 19, and same-sex partners. Student premiums for the health care plan are a reasonable $1,434, yet their dependents must pay $3,149. Because jobs for graduate students at the university pay only about $20,000 a year, covering the costs of health insurance for a family can be nearly impossible.
After collecting about 500 signatures, the Mao Ye – the student-elected trustee – plans to present the petition to the Board of Trustees on October 19th. Ye and others are also working on a health insurance plan that will be more affordable for graduate students and their dependents.