Under Michigan States new health policy all incoming freshmen will be required to have health insurance. The deadline for students to either report their coverage or sign up for Msu’s insurance plan is February 29th.
Lawmakers and students have several concerns about the plan.
MSU freshman Michelai Graham has $2,000 worth of concern. When she went to Sparrow hospital with bronchitis, she was told her insurance was not valid.
“l had to notify Michigan State that I had out of state healthcare and they accepted it, so why can’t they,” Michelai said. “Sparrow rejected it and I got a $2,000 hospital bill that I had to pay on my own. ”
Although Michigan State’s new health insurance plan dictates that all students report their coverage or purchase MSU’s plan the university does not verify students reports. This is one of Michigan state Representative Kevin Cotter’s major concern.
“The representative from MSU testified that students could just give their word that they had other coverage,” Cotter said.
Another one of representatives concerns is expense , as university students who don’t have insurance will be automatically enrolled in Msu’s plan which cost $1,500 a year.
“To the extent that we are creating mandatory fees such as this mandated insurance coverage, it’s increasing that financial hurdle that families and student have to jump over in order to attend a public university,” Cotter said.
ASMSU Vice Chair for Governmental affairs Victor Draine has worked in coordination with the university on the health policy. Draine says in the end the plan could potentially decrease students financial worries
“Implementing this health insurance program will alleviate that in the back of your mind burden of ‘ok, I’m sick and I’m too afraid to go to the doctor and incur this cost,’ ” Draine said.
However, Michelai is concerned that the current accountability system for reporting insurance put students at risk.
“Yes, I only had bronchitis, but if it was in a life or death situation it took over 48 hours for them to tell me that my health care didn’t even work,” Michelai said. “Even though they still treated me, like what if you know they didn’t ?”
However it is unlikely that but that scenario is unlikely as all students must report their insurance by February 29th or MSU will enroll and bill them for MSU’s health insurance plan.
Michigan State University is the first Michigan public university to mandate coverage, however 25 percent of public universities nationwide require students to have insurance.