The daughter of a mechanic and a Chicago public schools office assistant, sophomore in LAS Fabiola Padilla has already had to take out $13,000 as a loans in case to afford the University’s fees. Student Health insurance cost might rise by 10%.
Every dime counts when it comes to paying for her college education for her family. A substantial rise in any student amount could force them over the edge.
McKinley Health Director Robert Palinkas highlighted during an Illinois Student Senate meeting that student health insurance premiums might rise by almost 10% next fall. Padilla is unsure of how that will impact her family financially. She pointed out that her dad can’t pay for an increase in student rates. The rising costs of health insurance are becoming a huge concern for many families. This is why it is urged they take the time to research individual health insurance plans extensively as they could turn out to be cheaper.
As of now, the student health insurance plan charges $320 each semester for the undergraduate students. The plan, given by United Healthcare, covers entire elements needed by the Affordable Care Act as well as the most essential medical expenses a student might encounter in the event of a sickness or accident, Palinkas stated in an email.
When students are registering for the University, they are needed to give data about their family’s health insurance plan so McKinley can evaluate it for equivalency to the University’s plan. This year, 1,720 appeals to waive the health insurance fee were refused, involving Padilla’s.
“I should have an option of whether I need (the student health insurance) or not, particularly because I have insurance,” Padilla claimed. “I should not be compelled to pay for it.”
There are many reasons why a family’s health insurance plan might not be believed to be equivalent to the University one. Palinkas pointed out those national increases in health insurance premium charges prompted parents to purchase less costly policies that are unequal to the University’s.
“When a policy is not successful to cover adequate mental health care, or if the parental policy needs that the student pays the first five thousand dollars of cost, or if it fails to meet the needs of the Affordable Care Act, or fails to have a decent regional network of specialists, then the appeal to waive the fee for University insurance is refused,” Palinkas claimed.
The procedure for choosing a health care provider for the University plan as well as approving entire fees that students encounter is led by both the Student Advisory Committee and McKinley Health Center.
“2 years ago, we went on an appeal of proposals and we inquired for insurance companies to submit a bid to give services for the campus community,” Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Lowa Mwilambwe stated.
In a request for proposals, the University inquired for several different health care companies to submit their insurance rates as well as what their coverage entails. The one with the lowest rates and best coverage — United Healthcare — was selected.
Sadly, if the insurance company isn’t making the amount of money from its customers that it expected, the rates can increase. This is happening with the organization i.e. United Healthcare.
The game moderately changed with new President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration this January. Throughout his proposed campaign, Trump assured to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, thus reducing the health insurance premiums and student health insurance costs. As Trump is not in office yet, although, Mwilambwe can just speculate on how his presidency will impact student health insurance rates.
“I can’t tell (what is going to happen), I consider that we will have to wait until the new president elect takes over and decides on how he needs that area managed,” he claimed.
However, no concise fee increase has been set by United Healthcare; no concise solution to the chance has been set.
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