News Ticker

Health Services adapts to changes in SHIP

MCT Campus News Wire

This fall health care reform, also known as the Affordable Care Act, enacted on March 23, 2010, will effect changes at Boise State.

This act will have both positive and negative impacts on the Boise State student body.

The summary of health care reform, provided by Ascension Benefits and Insurance Solutions, is located on the Boise State Health Services home page. It states that students with the Student Health Insurance Plan will likely see a “significant” increase in the cost of their plans.

According to John Griffiths, the business manager for Campus Recreation and Health Services, this is because of a lack of utilization by students of Boise State’s health care services.

Although Boise State must conform with health care reform, it is not part of the free market like health insurance companies. The demographic for SHIP is primarily full-time students.

“It’s not really a level playing field,” Griffiths said.

SHIP isn’t as bad as other plans in the market, according to Marika Butler, the insurance and billing coordinator at Boise State. Part of Butler’s job description is to help students find plans that fit their financial situation.

“The initial in-network deductible is $150, then insurance will pay 80 percent up to $1,000,” Butler said. “Then, a new deductible of $4,500 will start.”

This system ensures that all visits will be covered up to the initial $1,000, with the deductible being waived for every visit.

According to Butler, premiums will be $1,254 each semester for SHIP this year, which is an increase of $200 from 2013.

This is mostly due to health care reform and other things, such as unlimited counseling, medical visits and flu shots. Health Services treats most student afflictions besides surgeries and extreme emergencies, in which case students are encouraged to visit other health care providers.

Students with alternate insurance policies, excluding Medicaid and Medicare, are also accepted by Health Services with payments dependent on their insurance company rates.

“We strongly encourage everyone who accesses Health Services checks with their insurance carrier prior to their appointment to make sure Health Services is in-network with their plan,” Butler said.

Those without student insurance will also experience differences in coverage due to health care reform, but will need to speak with their individual health care provider for details.

Students who waive SHIP will need insurance compatible with the new health care act by the beginning of the school year to be accepted. Not having health insurance is prohibited by Boise State as well as the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which states that every U.S. citizen must have qualifying health insurance coverage beginning 2014 or pay a fine based on a percentage of that individual’s income.