Students struggling with health insurance coverage in the state of Ohio

Going to university means growing up and having to make your own doctor’s appointments. As scary as it can be, it’s even scarier when your health insurance isn’t working on campus.

Choosing a health insurance plan isn’t the most exciting thing to do, but paying out of pocket for a broken leg or sexually transmitted infection can put a damper on the college experience. If faced with injury or illness with inadequate health insurance, students could quickly find themselves paying more in hospital bills than tuition.

Students have the option of purchasing university sponsored student health insurance or opting out of the plan with existing coverage. The $ 3,366 annual cost of the student health insurance plan forces some to either make do with off-grid coverage or avoid campus health care altogether, thinking they can just go home if they have to. need an appointment.

Lily Powers, a 2020 Ohio State alumnus, and Indigo Butler, a fourth year international student, both encountered problems receiving medical care on campus due to health insurance constraints.

Powers had private out-of-state insurance that did not extend to campus.

Butler, although covered by Ohio Medicaid, couldn’t visit the campus health center without paying out of pocket. As a result, she found herself on a waiting list of several months at other hospitals in the area.

“I thought it was weird that it was so hard for me to see a doctor,” Butler said.

The solution for students like Powers and Butler may lie in the Ohio State health insurance supplement, WilceCare. The rarely used option serves as pay-per-view coverage at the Wilce Student Health Center located in the center of campus. Armed with WilceCare, which costs $ 225 per insurance year, Powers and Butler could have visited the student health center without having to pay out of pocket.

Nonetheless, the additional annual cost may deter students from purchasing the supplement. Some do not perceive much risk in not having health insurance in college, as young people tend to be healthier and spend less on their health care.

Students with chronic physical or psychological conditions are particularly at risk, as insurance issues on campus can interfere with the routine exams and supervision they received before traveling to the state of Ohio. .

“If not properly controlled, it can lead to longer-term negative consequences with worse health outcomes,” said Dr Wendy Xu, associate professor of health services management and policy at the Ohio State.

Depression, anxiety, asthma, and migraines are among the most common chronic illnesses among college students. According to the National College Health Assessment 2020.

But what is it that ensures that students have adequate health care? Ohio State’s health insurance requirement doesn’t prevent students from forgoing college-sponsored insurance with off-grid or otherwise inadequate coverage, meaning Powers and Butler aren’t the only ones students to be in conflict.

Student Medicare can verify waivers, enrolling students in the SHI benefit plan if their coverage is found to be inadequate, according to the Student Medicare website. Neither Powers nor Butler were audited throughout their stay in the state of Ohio.

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Justin D. O'Neill