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Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Affordable Health Insurance for Students

The CSU system received a grant from Covered California to provide education to students about expanded options available for obtaining health insurance.

In support of the new healthcare exchange, the Cal State University system received a grant from Covered California to engage in outreach and education on 15 of the CSU campuses.  

This grant, referred to as the CSU Health Insurance Education Project, employs two students from San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health who will spend the next six months working to educate the campus community about options available to them through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Emily Ackerman and Nicole Jaramillo, who are both currently second year Master of Public Health students, will be giving presentations to classes and organizations, tabling, and will soon be facilitating a town hall meeting on campus.

“As public health students, we are fortunate to have been educated about health reform. Many students are unaware of the assistance that is available to them,” Jaramillo said. Through their position as Campus Coordinators, they have created avenues to bring awareness to students.

A Facebook page has been launched for the SDSU community to allow interested students to receive updates about Covered California, reminders of enrollment deadlines, and information about upcoming events on campus.

Changes to the health care system

In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed to provide safe and affordable health insurance for all Americans.

Changes to health care system due to PPACA:

  • No disqualification for preexisting conditions
  • Must provide coverage for 10 essential benefits
  • Increased preventative services
  • Premium assistance and cost sharing subsidies are available for a large amount of individuals and families depending on income
  • Tax penalties for those who remain uninsured

Each state is required to either set up their own Health Insurance Exchange, create a hybrid system utilizing both state and federal concepts, or default to the Federal Exchange. California has decided to create their own system, Covered California.

Most commonly asked question by SDSU students:

  • I pay a fee for Student Health Services, isn’t that enough?

Student Health Services is a great resource for primary and specialty care, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Unfortunately, it does not cover after hours or emergency care. Therefore it is not considered a health insurance plan under the new law.

For most students, the risk of being uninsured can provide a large financial burden, said Ackerman. “In addition to student loans that are piling up, most students cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars in emergency room charges in the unfortunate event of an accident," she said.

Enrollment information

Enrollment begins Oct. 1 and ends March 31, 2014. Coverage under the enrolled health insurance plans will begin January 1, 2014 for those who sign up on or before December 15, 2013.