YSU, UHC offering new, improved health care

health care

Graphic by Paris Chrisopoulos/The Jambar.

With her father’s job in jeopardy, junior Chelsea Chizmar said she’s interested in applying for the new insurance plan offered to Youngstown State University students through United Healthcare insurance.

“I think offering this to students is a good idea because I do not know where else I would go to get coverage,” she said.

On Aug. 17, the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan was made available to students after it had been stalled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, upheld in June.

Since the ruling, Matt Novotny, executive director of student services, said UHC worked as quickly as possible to make the details of the insurance plans available online for interested students.

Undergraduate students enrolled in nine or more credit hours, along with graduate students enrolled in six or more credit hours, are eligible to purchase one of two updated insurance packages, Plan 1 and Plan 2.

Students who purchase an insurance plan will see increased annual costs of $198 for Plan 2 and $63 for Plan 1 from previous models.

With the increase in out-of-pocket cost comes an increase in emergency coverage. The new policy provides between $1 million and $2.5 million in coverage, up from a limit of $100,000 on the previous plan.

Students eligible for the plan may also insure their dependents, including spouses and dependent children under the age of 26.

While 65 students were enrolled under last year’s plan, 33 students have registered for the plans since they were updated last month. Novotny said that number fell short of his expectations.

“I was expecting to enroll at least the same number as last year,” Novotny said. “With the late start, that was probably unrealistic.”

Wendy Thomas, registered nurse at the YSU Student Health Clinic, said she is excited about what the new plans have to offer.

“For the little increase in payment, students are getting a lot more out of the new plans,” Thomas said.

Details are available on UHC’s student resource website, https://www.uhcsr.com, or by calling UHC’s customer service at 1-800-767-0700.