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July 11, 2013

CSU mandates health insurance

By Ronnie Holman

All students living in university housing at Cleveland State this fall are required to have healthcare coverage that meets the school guidelines. According to a new university policy students should either have their own insurance, be covered on their guardians’ insurance or enroll in a plan Cleveland State offers. This is mandatory for all students staying in any of Cleveland State’s residence halls.

Healthcare cost is something that is affecting every single American. CSU is anticipating the affordable healthcare act will allow students to be covered under their parents until the age of 26 which makes it very easy for all students to be insured. Joseph Mosbrook, public relations administrator at CSU thinks this is necessary for all students staying in residence halls.

“We are anticipating the affordable healthcare law in the next year,” Mosbrook said. “The law will allow students to be covered under their parents until the age of 26, which makes it simple for a student to be insured.”

The new health insurance guidelines are a major change for some students.

“I think it is stupid, but I see the point,” said Jacqui Wilson, a student at Cleveland State. “I don’t think it’s fair to everyone, but I can see why it is necessary.”

Students who do not have their own coverage can opt into one of the two plans that Cleveland State is offering through United Health Care. Cost starts at $795 a semester. There is a silver plan, in which 80 percent of the student’s care is covered as long as they use a preferred provider within the United Health Care network. In case of outside providers the plan covers 60 percent of the cost. The deductible in the plan is $350 dollars annually.

The gold plan is slightly different. It still covers 80 percent of the students care within the network and 60 percent outside the network , but the deductible is $150 per covered student, per year.

“I won’t stay in the residence hall not until at least the fall,” Wilson said. “I did re-enroll in the insurance for the fall semester.”

Some students may be living in university residence because they are from out of state and have no other choice, but some may just want to be out on their own and have their own responsibilities instead of living with their parents.

“I would probably still pay for the insurance to live in the residence hall,” Wilson said. “Anything for me not to move back in with my parents.”

The Ohio State University has required since 2002 all students have healthcare coverage. Ohio State covers at least 60 percent of the students’ healthcare. If Cleveland State students receive healthcare at the student health center, as long as they have coverage, healthcare is covered at 100 percent. The student health center at Ohio State covers 100 percent of the students care as long as they are insured as well.

Both schools have different co-pays pending on what service a student is being provided, however there is a difference in how much students pay. Students co-pay for a Dr. visit at CSU is $45. OSU students pay $15-$25 for a doctor visit.

Some students have mixed feelings as to why the insurance policy has been made mandatory for those living in the residence halls. Christina Sanders, part of The Cleveland Stater’s staff and a student living in a Cleveland State residence hall, believes she knows why the school made the move.

“I think the insurance mandate has more to do with the school trying to get a jump start on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare,” Sanders said.

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have healthcare.

“I think they’re trying to do some forward thinking as well as risk management,” Sanders said. “Contracts will have to be terminated for people residing in halls without insurance.”

The idea of mandated healthcare for resident students does have an effect on them. Mixed opinions may or may not change the mandate, but it probably won’t change the law at this point.

“I don’t think it’s bad on the schools part, they have to protect themselves and comply with the law,” Sanders said. “I don’t think the law is needed.”

The most important reason for the mandate is for student success. CSU has discovered that students attend classes and don’t have to miss because of a chronic illness which sets them up to be successful in their studies.

“We discovered that students who are healthy and covered under insurance can address health issues more affectively are more successful,” Mosbrook said. “The most important thing is the student’s success and we feel this will allow them to be successful.”