Posts Tagged - ‘college’

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Student Health Insurance Investigation Finds Problems

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Image: m00by under CC 3.0

After an investigation, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo believes that many providers of student health insurance are offering inferior coverage for higher rates. In effect, they receive far more in premiums than they pay out in claims.

College students have been a boon to health insurance companies: the typical student is their perfect customer–the young, healthy adult with no pre-existing conditions. Their policies are profitable, and help pay for other policyholders’ claims. Over half of America’s universities require their students to have health coverage for safety reasons, but some are able to negotiate better deals from insurers than others.

The issue is that there aren’t many of those sicker patients in the student pools, so the more expensive premiums are largely moot. Since students are looking for affordable health insurance, many colleges keep costs down by providing very little in benefits (despite state regulations meant to prevent that). Many plans don’t cover injuries sustained while intoxicated, an issue for many in this environment.

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College Funding and Student Health Insurance

Friday, March 19th, 2010

(Image: m00by under CC 3.0)

There’s a strange, unrelated provision in the healthcare reform bill: college grants. Over the next decade, the bill would put $60 billion towards Pell Grants. The grants help low-income college students afford higher education. While that’s certainly a worthy goal, its relation to health insurance plans is tenuous, at best.

In effect, it satisfies progressive House members who believe that the Senate bill is not comprehensive enough. The amount also includes money the Congressional Black Caucus pushed for in order to aid historically black colleges and universities. Since the provisions are related to the budget, they can pass through the reconciliation process. However, Republicans will surely take the opportunity to decry the unrelated inclusions.

With increased Pell Grants, more young adults will be able to attend college. As a result, they will need student health insurance. Many universities already require their students to be insured, and the reform bill includes a national mandate with subsidies.

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Obama Working Student Loan Reform

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Student loan reform may work its way into the healthcare bill. President Obama has proposed student loan reforms, which would slash subsidies the government gives loan companies like Sallie Mae, would save the government billions of dollars — a critical point given the health care debate has largely come down to arguments over cost savings.

Republicans and Conservative Democrats have expressed concern over the costs of the health bill. Some Democrat leaders who are on the fence about the bill are waiting to see how much money the bill will save businesses, insured, and the government. Leaders are now putting together a compromise version that should make health insurance more affordable. However, details on cost savings are still being worked out.

If President Obama is able to provide medical insurance to millions of Americans and at the same time pass student loan reform, it could give Democrats a clear political victory to pass reforms that would help the uninsured and also thousands of students across the country who last week protested rising higher education costs.

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