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Mandatory health insurance at CSU

  • Students seeking more information can email ascsu_health@mail.colostate.edu
  • Students searching for more information about health insurance plans can visit www.ConnectforHealthCO.com
  • Other informational meetings will be held on Nov. 13 in Clark A101 at 6-8 p.m. and on Nov. 14 at Clark A101 at 7-9 p.m.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, everyone will be required to have a health insurance plan because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and CSU students are no exception.

ASCSU in collaboration with the Larimer County, CSU Health Network and the Student and Health Advisor Council held an informational meeting last night, to inform students on the changes to health insurance. One person attended.

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According to Anne Hudgens, director of CSU Health Network, she doesn’t anticipate students to show up for informational meetings until spring registration when they are required to provide information on their current health care plan.

“At CSU we have a policy going into effect that’s also mandating insurance for all undergraduate students, in the past it was already mandated for graduate students and international students,” said Mackenzie Whitesell, executive director of health at ASCSU.

By Feb. 5, every student must show proof of a comparable health plan. If students don’t enroll in a plan, they’ll automatically be placed into the CSU health network’s health insurance.

One to two weeks after spring registration, students will receive an email from an outside contractor hired by CSU, Ascension. Students must email Ascension with their health insurance plan.infog2

Ascension will then verify the information, to ensure the plan meets university standards. Verification by Ascension is only required for domestic students, not international students.

If students ignore the email and their health plan is not verified by Ascension, then the student will be automatically enrolled in the CSU health plan.

Each plan must be comparable, meaning the deductible is under $2,500, and covers the essential health benefits included in the ACA.

Benefits of ACA include emergency services, outpatient services, preventive and wellness service, maternity and newborn care, pediatric services, hospitalization, mental health and substance abuse services, rehab and habilitative services, prescription drugs and laboratory services.

The ACA was created to help include these benefits for people without insurance, according to Karen Spink, affiliate from the Health District of Northern Larimer County.

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According to Lynne Bunn, insurance and referral manager for the CSU Health Network, based on a survey from registration ready for this semester there’s 3,009 students who don’t have insurance or don’t know if they have insurance.

Most students won’t be affected by the insurance change.

“Most of our undergraduate students, the vast majority of them will be covered under their parents plan,” said Anne Hudgens, director of CSU Health Network. “But, for the students who have never had health insurance before or aren’t currently covered, then those are the ones who are at a decision point.”

For students who don’t currently have health insurance, there will be a platinum, gold, silver and bronze plan provided by the state’s interpretation of the ACA.

“With the Affordable Care Act, all insurance plans will cover the same thing, it’s just a matter of how much you pay out of pocket versus, your co-insurance, and your monthly payment,” Whitesell said.

CSU also offers a plan to students.

“It’s a $500 deductible with an 80/20 copay, 80 percent insurance and 20 percent patient, Whitesell said. “The total cost is $1,445 and that covers Jan. through Aug. 24.”

“If you compare it on the market place, it’s a gold level plan, for bronze level pricing,” Hudgens said. “It’s a very good deal.”

The insurance policy that students choose will vary based on their individual demands.

“It really depends on the individual person’s needs, what do they need?” Spink said. “Can they afford a higher premium, to have lower copays and deductibles or do they need a lower month to month premium?”

Collegian Senior Reporter Lawrence Lam can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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