USG sounds off on insurance options

The future student health insurance provider is hanging in the balance.

For the 2006-2007 school year, it will be mandatory for all undergraduate students to have a health insurance plan issued by the University, or a plan that is comparable in coverage. The Health Services Advisory Committee will meet with representatives from insurance companies Friday to discuss and vote on the insurance plan that will be offered next year.

Sen. Maria Khoury, from the health services advisory committee, presented the plan options at last night’s Undergraduate Student Government’s meeting.

“We just have to find the best insurance possible for the students,” she said.

The decision is between two separate health care providers: Chickering and Student Resources. Currently, BGSU offers students insurance from Chickering, students at Ohio State University are offered health insurance by Student Resourses.

The health services advisory committee has been researching different plans since the holiday break. They have already decided to include abortion costs under the future insurance plan, which will raise the premium $1 under the Chickering plan and $11 under the Student Resources plan.

However, they have not decided whether or not to cover the cost of birth control. Right now, the University’s plan covers only birth control that is deemed medically necessary while other birth control purchases are made out of pocket. Including birth control in the insurance coverage would raise Chickering’s premium $9 and Student Recourses premium would be raised $23.

The most basic deciding factors will be premium cost. For a plan similar to the one currently offered, Chickering is quoting $1,190 and Student Resources is at $1,242.

Whichever plan the committee chooses to adopt on Friday will be the plan that students will be mandated next year.

“Once everything becomes official it will be made public,” Khoury said.

Though only committee members have a vote, the meetings on Friday will be will be open to the public. Student Resources will meet with the committee at 1:30 p.m. and the Chickering meeting will take place at 2:30 p.m. Meetings will be held in 170 Wellness Connectionin the Student Health Center.

There was also an update from the library advising commitee by Sen. Takasha Smith. At the last meeting it was announced that there are $15 million worth of damages at the Jerome Library. Plumbing problems, water damage from leaks, and electrical problems complete the list of things that will need reparing.

“I was shocked,” Smith said.

Sen. Josie Miller had updates from parking and transportation. The shuttle service will be running east out to Copperbeach four times a day – at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 5 p.m.

During the president’s report, a senator asked Aaron Shumaker whether USG would be dealing with the zoning issue again this year. Last spring, then-president Alex Wright led USG into public discussions about the enforcement of the three-person zoining laws in the Burrwood-Bentwood neighborhood. Shumaker responded by saying that he had already met in private with mayor John Quinn to discuss the matter, but did not share the discussion with his peers during the meeting.

“I am not at a point to go public with it yet,” Shumaker said.

As for other USG updates, the election debates for the next year’s USG president and vice president will begin at the end of March.