Health insurance controversy reached critical vote in 2005

In late November, the student senate and assembly passed a resolution to “investigate and consider” making health insurance a prerequisite to attending the U.

After discussing the situation with the student body for the six weeks preceding the vote, 10 out of 15 senators said their constituents did not want to stop students from attending the U because they didn’t have health insurance.

But when they voted, 14 out of 15 Senators voted to “investigate and consider the hard-waiver plan,” which would require students to show proof of health insurance before being accepted at the U.

The student government considered changing the health-insurance policy at the U in response to the Student Health Advisory Committee’s concern for the current plans offered at the U.

Since 1997, premiums for the U’s voluntary health insurance have continued to rise 15 to 20 percent each year while benefits have continued to decrease., including losing prescription drug coverage.

The reason for the increase in premiums was a result of the insurance company, GM Southwest, losing money.

Currently, for every $1 put into the plan, $1.06 is paid out in claims.

If the U had a requirement for students to show proof of health insurance, SHAC representatives think more students would buy into the voluntary health insurance plan.

This would theoretically cause premiums to decrease immediately because insurance companies act on “good faith” that their business will improve.

According to SHAC, 15 percent of students do not have health insurance while another 5 percent are not sure.

Two students dropped out of school during Fall Semester after experiencing health problems that required surgery.

Without health insurance, these students were left with thousands of dollars in medical bills and could no longer afford school, SHAC representatives said.

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