Story by Amanda Lorenzo
As healthcare issues occupy the forefront of the nation’s political debate, MSU Denver’s insurance requirement brings the issue to Auraria.
MSU Denver, CCD and UCD all offer health insurance plans to ensure that students’ health needs are being met. Of the three schools, though, MSU Denver is the only one that requires students taking nine or more credit hours to have health insurance.
The charge for the university insurance will be automatically added to a student’s tuition bill and the student will receive an email informing them of this charge. Students must submit a waiver with proof of outside insurance every semester to avoid being charged for the school’s health insurance.
“Not everyone can afford health insurance; it’s so expensive,” said Michelle Remijio, a student at MSU Denver. “They should have special programs that could make it affordable and it should be our own choice to get health insurance or not.”
If students have outside health insurance, it must meet the university’s requirements to be enough to waive the need for the MSU Denver health insurance (see below).
“I understand that they require all students to have health insurance, regardless if it’s from an outside policy or Metro’s, for the safety and well-being of all students and faculty on campus,” said Sasha Kern, an MSU Denver student. “However, I think it is unfair to deny people a college education because they can’t afford health insurance.”
Students who have insurance that meets the requirements can find the waiver form to submit electronically under the “My Services” tab on ConnectU. Once the waiver has been submitted, it will be audited for approval. If approved, the cost of the university insurance plan will be removed from the tuition bill.
“The Supreme Court upheld the federal mandate for the healthcare reform and, as a part of that, all citizens 18 and older will be required as of 2014 to show proof of having insurance to meet the healthcare requirements,” said Steve Monaco, Director of Insurance. “Metro’s insurance plan is consistent with the federal requirements and is offered to Metro’s students at a much lower cost.”
There are three types of policies that are not accepted for compliance purposes: Short Term Medical Plans, Health Savings Accounts and The Colorado Indigent Care Program.
Any student who is unsure if their insurance will qualify can call the Student Health Insurance Office at 303-556-2525, or visit them in the Plaza Building, Suite 149.
To receive exemption for the university health insurance policy, the following is required of outside insurance, according to the Auraria Health Center website:
“1. Have an annual deductible of $1,500 or less. If it’s a family plan, members must have an individual deductible of $1,500 or less).
2. Must be a “comprehensive health insurance plan” that covers medical care for both injury and illness, including outpatient and inpatient medical services. Non-comprehensive policies such as injury, diagnosis, cancer, hospitalization or catastrophic only plans do not comply.
3. Mental Health Care coverage that includes both inpatient and outpatient benefits that have the following minimum levels: inpatient — coverage of at least $10,000 or 45 days. Outpatient — coverage of at least $1,000 ,or 20 visits.”