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SU needs to revise its health insurance policy

Lucy Messineo-Witt | Photo Editor

Syracuse University should make its student health insurance plan cheaper to ease the financial burden on students.

On top of the typical stressors Syracuse University students face, many students also deal with complications regarding their health insurance. The arduous process is not only overly complicated, but it also places a huge financial burden for many students. SU, therefore, should make their health care plan cheaper for the students who can’t afford it and more transparent.

Most colleges can waive students from enrolling in the institution’s insurance if they are covered by a major health insurance. These students can remain on their family’s healthcare plan until the age of 26, and it is these students who usually breeze through the stress of choosing a healthcare plan at SU at no extra charge. 

But the SU students with Medicaid or non-qualifying insurance have no choice but to enroll in the student insurance, which costs $2,143.80 per year. SU needs proof of insurance that covers three criterias: coverage of emergency and non-emergency procedures, compliance with the Affordable Care Act and U.S.-based insurance. 

If a student’s insurance plan fails to meet the three requirements, they must enroll in the SU insurance policy. SU should consider the financial burden of students with Medicaid coverage and implement a policy that is affordable and feasible for students of all backgrounds, as many students who have Medicaid as their health plan in the first place are insured by it because they cannot afford other plans. 

The burden of insurance coverage is not just for students with non-qualifying insurance. Hana Shroff, a first-year student at SU, was able to waive her Syracuse insurance by showing her parent’s insurance but it was an arduous process to undertake as a first-generation student.  

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“It’s really frustrating to navigate the insurance plan, especially as a first generation because I had to learn about the entire insurance policy by myself and it was nerve wracking,” Shroff said.  

Additionally, for emergency and non-emergency visits, Shroff faces an out-of-pocket copay. 

“If I go to Barnes for a checkup that is not my yearly physical, I have to pay (a) copay out of pocket. The stress of insurance coverage affects a lot of people in diverse ways, and it can keep students from seeking the proper medical attention that they need,” she said.
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Navigating the financial burden of insurance coverage can be a devious task for some students, especially those who are insured by a non-qualifying insurance, who are charged copay for appointments or who have to go through the unwieldy process of waiving their insurance alone. Navigating complex insurance policies, many of which end up breaking the bank for some students, are a large stressor for students. 

In addition to making the university’s health care option cheaper for students who cannot afford it, SU must make the information on healthcare more transparent to students who struggle through this process year after year. Until then, SU students will continue to struggle to get the affordable healthcare they need.

Rainu George is a freshman classical studies major. Her column appears biweekly. She can be reached at [email protected].







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