Apr 192006
 
Authors: Skylar Rick

The ASCSU is considering a bill that would require students who are not covered by health insurance to buy coverage from the Hartshorn Health Center.

The center’s health insurance, which for the fall semester costs a flat fee, dependant on semester, doesn’t limit students to the health center if Hartshorn cannot provide the treatment students need. In this case, students can find off-campus assistance.

However, students who are covered under Hartshorn’s program must seek healthcare at Hartshorn first, and get a referral before seeking medical aid off campus, or else they must pay full price, said Stella Anderson, insurance billing coordinator at Hartshorn Health Center.

Students who participate in this program will receive prescription coverage for up to $250. The coverage applies only to one-time prescriptions, not repeated prescriptions. The plan also provides $1,500 for miscellaneous coverage for on-campus treatment, which includes physical therapy, X-rays and lab work.

Students who receive a referral to an outside doctor will receive 80 percent coverage of labs and X-rays up to $1,250 and $250 to cover a doctor visit outside Hartshorn.

“Anything else you have to pay yourself or submit to your insurance,” she added. “We will give the bill to you to give to the insurance – we don’t do third-party billing.”

This program is also an option for students who may have a spouse or children.

A student’s spouse can be covered for an additional $1,784 and children can be covered for an additional $1,173. There is no limit on the number of children who can be covered.

“The student must also be insured (through the health center),” said Anderson. “But we don’t insure as many (family members) because it is really expensive.”

The spouse and dependents that choose to enroll in this program with the student will have the same benefits for off-campus healthcare. Spouses and children do not, however, have the same benefits as students for Hartshorn’s services.

Spouses and children can see a doctor at Hartshorn for free or get referrals to use their off-campus benefits, but they are not covered for other services through Hartshorn, like prescriptions or X-rays.

“(The spouses and dependents) have access to the health center but they don’t have the supplemental bonus,” Julie Bigge, a medical records technician, said.

The health center is not only for those who enroll in the insurance plan. Students with their own insurance or those covered by their parents can still use it because of the student fee they pay as part of their student fees that helps operate Hartshorn.

With the student health fee paid each year, students get unlimited amount of visits to doctors or nurse practitioner, Anderson said.

“Always utilize the health center,” Anderson said. “We are always going to take care of you because you’re a student or family.”

Although Anderson supports the program, she stresses to students with serious conditions to consider their health needs seriously before signing up.

“It is a policy designed for healthy people,” Anderson said. “People with chronic conditions have to really look at benefits to make sure it meets (his or her) needs.”

There are benefits for joining the program for all students, especially for the new students on campus.

“It’s a good transition from the treatment they would get at home,” Emily Farrenkopf, junior psychology major and resident assistant, said. “And having it right here on campus can be really beneficial to students who don’t have their own transportation.”

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Student Costs: Fall: $763, Spring/Summer: $842, Summer only: $479

Spouse Costs: Fall: $1,587, Spring/Summer: $1,931, Summer only: $1,055

All Children Costs: Fall: $1,045, Spring/Summer: $1,267, Summer only: $693

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