Re: Health Insurance opinion

By By [email protected] and

By [email protected]

This letter is in response to a letter by Edward Stevenson printed in your August 30th issue. I am shocked by the irresponsibility of the Chronicle with regards to printing this absurd article that encourages students to go without health insurance just because most students are young and health insurance costs money better spent on CDs. The article was poorly researched and laced with blatant misrepresentations of the facts.

First and most importantly, Mr. Stevenson’s notion of the cost of health care should be dispelled right away. His article claims that health insurance premiums cost $5,000.00 or more. That statement is blatantly false. This year, Student Health Insurance through the University costs only $968.00 for the entire year. Less than $1,000, which can be paid in monthly or semesterly installments. In contrast, a relatively simple medical problem can cost several thousand dollars. Cut your hand open? Expect to pay two thousand dollars in doctor’s bills and hospital use bills just for a few stitches at the ER. I’m not making these number up – I am a young, healthy student who cut her hand open on a tin can lid while cleaning up the kitchen.I can’t even imagine the costs if you were to break a bone or tear your ACL while out skiing this winter! While it’s true that those of us in the 18-25 age bracket don’t have to deal with heart disease or cancer as much as the elderly, we have our own health problems in their place.

Medical bills can be staggering. Many students can continue to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they graduate. For those who cannot, student health insurance is a low-cost alternative. Health insurance effectively protects students from having to bear the costs of expensive medical care in the event of injury or illness. For many students, not having health insurance can lead to medical bills high enough to force them to drop out of school.

I urge the Chronicle to retract the opinion article as a blatant misrepresentation of fact. Even though it was “opinion”, the author quotes numbers and premium prices as though they are fact and it appears as though Stevenson is writer for the Chronicle. Second, I urge the Chronicle to send a reporter out to Student Health Services and write a factual article on the costs and benefits of obtaining student health insurance. Ask them what kinds of medical problems “young, healthy” students seek care for and how much those problems would cost students in medical bills if they lacked health insurance. Finally, in the future please show some responsibility when publishing articles (opinion or not) that give students “advice” on life-altering decisions such as those pertaining to their health.

Christine FogartyGraduate Student, Neuroscience