For the past six months emails have filled student inboxes about the CSU Student Health Insurance Plan (CSU SHIP) that will be mandatory this semester. Students have the ability to waive participation in the CSU SHIP expiring at midnight on Feb. 5.
Anne Hudgens, director of the CSU Health Network, said that she believes students should have health insurance in order to create a safer university atmosphere that follows a national and collegiate trend toward mandatory health insurance.
Although Hudgens believes the CSU SHIP to be a bargain for the services that it offers, whether student insurance is obtained through CSU or through an alternative individual or family plan does not matter.
“We do not want CSU students to buy this insurance plan if they don’t want it, or if it’s not their best option,” Hudgens said.
Lynne Bunn, supervisor of the Student Health Insurance Plan, agreed with Hudgens, and said that the aim of the CSU Health Network is not to sell insurance to students. It is only to ensure that students possess insurance.
“CSU receives no ‘kickbacks’ of any kind for providing group insurance – it is not a profit-source for CSU or its Health Network,” Bunn wrote in an email to the Collegian. “The program helps manage student costs significantly and has been a great benefit to the many students who arrive at Colorado State without adequate health coverage.”
Waiving this mandatory insurance in favor of an alternative plan will be an option until Feb. 5 at midnight. Students will have been automatically enrolled in the CSU SHIP unless the student chose to fill out a waiver form.
The CSU SHIP is contracted out to Nationwide Insurance, with a $1,455 premium for coverage extending from Jan. 21, 2014 until Aug. 24, 2014. This insurance plan will allow benefits specific to students, including the ability to receive financial aid toward purchasing their health insurance.
In addition to email notifications, there were at least 11 attempts to convey information about changes to the CSU community, according to Bunn.
Bunn said that students were informed of the need to take action regarding mandatory student insurance during spring registration, via the Parent and Family newsletter three months in a row, in both ads and articles in the Collegian and utilizing several other resources.
Collegian Policy Beat Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.