Posts Tagged - ‘university’

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Grad Students’ Affordable Health Insurance Struggles

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

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affordable health insurance

Many students struggle with finding affordable health insurance. The situation for graduate students is even worse: they are often too old to be eligible to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans (even post-healthcare reform), and out-of-network co-payments are extremely high. At the same time, some graduate school programs require full-time hours, preventing students from finding a full-time job that offers coverage. They may also believe that their small stipends will not cover individual health insurance.

In the case of Purdue grad students, their premiums increased by over one quarter this year! Inferior coverage for dependents is the worst part of all. Spouses of international grad students, who normally don’t have work visas, are beholden to the university’s coverage. Unfortunately, the in-network health care facility does not provide essential services such as access to pediatricians or obstetricians, forcing family members to use expensive out-of-network care.

A study showed that other Big Ten universities provide superior health care for their graduate student populations, although they still have their pitfalls.

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Recent College Graduate? Good Health Insurance News!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

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It’s college graduation season. After all the pomp and circumstance, there are still some issues to deal with. If you bought student health insurance with your university, it will probably expire soon.

In this economy, the vast majority of graduates don’t have a job already lined up. Even if you do, you’ll need health insurance to fill the gap before it becomes effective.

What can you do? Individual health insurance is always a good option, but there’s another bright spot: you can stay on or rejoin your parents’ health policy until the age of 27. Although the healthcare reform law doesn’t require that until the end of September, many major health insurance companies have decided to change their rules early. Check with a licensed agent to see if your family’s plan is one of them.

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Student Health Insurance Investigation Finds Problems

Friday, April 9th, 2010

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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

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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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