Health plan forum has suprisingly low turnout

Alison Kemp and Alison Kemp

With all the fuss that has been made about next school year’s health insurance plan, most would expect more than one parent to attend the health insurance open forum last evening.

A parent of a University student attended the forum, saying, ‘Students should be here – that’s a mom’s view of it.’

A focus group was formed to determine how students would like to hear about the new insurance policy, explained Barb Hoffman, health promotion coordination of the Wellness Connection. These students asked for open forums, hard copy mailings, e-mails, ads, Web site information and campus updates. Information will also be appearing in next month’s issue of stall talk.

Representatives from Chickering were also available for questions at yesterday’s health fair. Another open forum is scheduled today at 1 p.m. in Union room 208.

A few students did stop by Chickering’s table at the health fair, according to Carmen Peace, senior account executive for the Chickering Group. Most questions were about the hard waiver and informing the University that Chickering’s plan is not needed.

In order to determine if the school’s plan is needed, other insurance must meet a list of ten criteria.

To waive out of the school’s insurance, a form must be filled out online. If the form is not filled out, the cost of the insurance will be added to each student’s bursar bill, beginning in July.

The BGSU parent wanted to find out if it is possible to have the school insurance for the second half of the year.

Peace explained that the school insurance is available for the fall semester, spring semester or the entire year.

In the situation mentioned, the student was losing coverage because he was turning 23. New insurance must be purchased within 30 days of the end of the termination.

In order to purchase insurance midway through the year, students must take proof of termination of the previous insurance coverage to the Student Health Center’s new insurance office.

In addition to students that are no longer covered by their parent’s insurance, Hoffman explained that the school’s insurance plan may be cheaper than what is available through parents.

The cost for next year’s plan is $1,234. The cost for this current year’s insurance was $1,350.

An additional $60 can be added to the base plan to cover abortion. The abortion coverage must be purchased through the Chickering Web site. This cost will not appear on student’s bursar bills.

Hoffman explained that there will be three more mailings about the student health insurance and a brochure with changes and modifications to the plan will be sent.

The student insurance Web site states that the online waiver will be available beginning May 1 on MyBGSU.