Thursday, August 30, 2012

College Sticker Shock [UPDATED & BUMPED]

[Scroll down for update]

College students, and their parents, are getting lumps of coal in their dorm stocking. In addition to rising tuition costs (due mostly to a lackluster economy) it seems that the Obamacare serpent is raising its' ugly head in the form of higher student health insurance premiums.

We have railed against the student health plans on numerous occasions, mostly concerning the lack of comprehensive coverage in the case of a REAL medical emergency.

Simply stated, the plans are fine for most minor medical issues, but major health issues exposes the plans as falling way short in what they pay and even worse. The ticking time bomb inherent in the design means your coverage may expire before you are back to full health.
Many student health insurance plans were granted HHS waivers, but now those waivers are expiring and the cost of health insurance is sky rocketing.

Because of a rule in the Affordable Care Act that lifts caps on policy payoffs, the cheap insurance policies typically healthy students previously got are skyrocketing, some over 1,000 percent. The reason: Without payoff caps, insurance firms are boosting prices to cover their potential losses.
One example: a late July email to incoming students from Guilford College of Greensboro, N.C. revealed a jump from $668 to $1,179, a 75 percent jump. The reason stated: "Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations issued on March 16, 2012 under the Affordable Care Act."

Washington Examiner, "College insurance prices soar", August, 2012
Most college students have options, including seeking cover under their parents health insurance policy. More often than not, students would be wise to purchase their own coverage (if they are age 19 or older).
Lower health insurance premiums under Obamacare?
Just another empty campaign promise.

The folks at eHealthinsurance have more detail on the student health insurance fiasco for those who are interested. Should be required reading for registered voters . . .

A recent 2012 provision of the ACA has also expanded coverage for women's and reproductive health care. Beginning on August 1, 2012, all health insurance plans are required to provide broader coverage for women's health services, at no out-of-pocket cost to the enrollee. This includes coverage for most prescription birth control methods. As a result, some religiously-affiliated schools have chosen to drop their school-sponsored plans for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Thanks to Henry Stern for this tip.
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