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Editorial: CSU-Pueblo should consider student insurance

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by the CSU-Pueblo Today

Some say that being a college student is a full time job. Even when you leave the school at the end of the day, you still have to give all you have to classes while maintaining a job or being part of a team on campus. As a student there is only one thing that scares us more than becoming ill or getting injured in the middle of the semester: health insurance.

With all the money that we put into the school and the credibility of the school in our hands we should be covered as students’ right? The truth is there is no true health coverage for students here at Colorado State University-Pueblo.  Students deserve an affordable health plan, assistance to help pay for these health plans or it should be included in tuition and fees and the school should be providing this as a way to protect their students.

According to medicalbillingandcoding.org, 27.4 percent of college students do not have any form of health insurance regardless of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Schools like CSU-Fort Collins,  University of Colorado Colorado Springs and University of Northern Colorado offer plans to their students and/or require certain students to get these insurance plans/provide one of their own. These plans are more expensive than getting private insurance and only last for the specific semester.

CSU-Collins sight says, “Most major universities require students to carry health insurance as a way of protecting the student’s educational investment.” But if they are trying to protect our education why do they jeopardize it with the outrageous cost of insurance? We individually invest thousands of dollars into these establishments. Yet here at CSU-Pueblo all that is available to us is merely a clinic that can’t help you past minor issues which you could go to your free local clinic for.

CSU-Collins offers insurance for spring and summer and costs students $1,773 or you can just get summer for $871. Fall may be cheaper, costing only $1,512 to students, but what are the odds that anyone has a job that can pay these overpriced plans? Yes, students are allowed to use financial aid to assist them and can even pay monthly to help lower the cost, but after all is said and done with tuition, few students have any money left over and most likely still need what’s left to pay for books or supplies for the semester.

UNC is not much better, except for allowing their students to insure spouses and children, but these plans are more expensive than rent for a 5 bedroom house. UCCS, as of Spring 2016, no longer provides any form of insurance for their students, due to the fact that it was too costly to the school and very few students actually invested in the plans. They do point their students to a plan called Clyde’s Care that only cost the students $75 a semester, but is not an actual health insurance and can only be used at the campus Wellness Center.

Everywhere you look students have to pay for insurance that has stipulations, is not true insurance or can potentially make semesters more stressful.

The nursing program and any athletics teams here at CSU-Pueblo, as well as almost all nursing programs and athletics teams, require their students to provide medical insurance to be allowed to participate. Understandably so, students complete clinics at local hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities that require students to work with bodily fluids or around sick patients that could spread illnesses easily, and being an athlete someone can potentially get injured.

These students are not provided with a plan through the program or athletics department, nor are they given extra financial help in order to secure a plan that is required. Just as tools and necessary equipment is provided for students in other majors, insurance should be at least partially provided.

With the cost of tuition only rising and the inability for most employers to provide health insurance plans for their employees, students are at the end of the line when it comes to taking care of themselves. Many have to ignore the problem or pray that they can remain on their parent’s insurance. There are even students that are potentially going to lose their slot in the nursing program here at CSU-Pueblo due to the fact that they cannot afford insurance and are paying for tuition and the cost of living while maintaining class.

With either an increase in tuition, which many of us may not agree with, or plans that the school provides that do not go over $70 a month, we can eliminate uninsured students and maybe even work towards a better insurance plan as the years progress. Even UCCS is trying in some way to help students, but that does not help if the illness or injury requires a visit to the emergency room.

The school needs to endure the hardship of finding the funding for the sake of their financially invested students and provide at least one absolutely necessary insurance plan that all students can afford.