Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Student Health Insurance - A Disgrace

Every year millions of students go away to college. Some continue under their parents health insurance plan. Some (1.7 million) go without, and others buy coverage offered by their university.

Ziqu Liu was one of those students who purchased a health plan through his university. In January he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

Right now he is focused on treating the disease.

But his treatment in Columbus carries a steep price. The lowest estimate for the cost of his care, which includes two rounds of chemotherapy treatments and surgery, is $300,000. Even one week in a hospital can cost thousands of dollars, Liu said.

Only one problem.

His student health plan has a $50,000 limit.

Insurance companies offer partial coverage plans because if a plan offered coverage for everything, consumers could not afford it, said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plan

I'm sorry. That doesn't wash with me.

Liu's plan cost $918 per year; $76 per month.

For $76 Liu could have purchased plans from Anthem, Celtic, Aetna, Medical Mutual or Humana. All of them have lower deductibles and at least $2M in coverage.

Universities that offer such plans should be embarrassed.
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