Page 8

The Columbia Chronicle

8 • October 21, 2013

STUDENTS LOST IN BY: TATIANA WALK-MORRIS, ASSISTANT CAMPUS EDITOR JESSICA PALYS WAS DIAGNOSED citizens to obtain health insurance. age, the act allows young people to with cervical cancer in 2012. At the “In the insurance market that we used remain on their parents’ insurance time, she was studying at the Uni- to have, that was how people were plans until age 26, compared to the versity of Chicago, where health treated,” Palys said. “There are thou- former cutoff age of 19. Until the insurance, like at many colleges, is sands of people who, if they didn’t get online marketplace was made accesmandatory. But no insurance com- healthcare through their employer or sible, the college directed all uninpany would cover her because of their parents, the insurance company sured students under 26 to Gallagher her illness. So Palys, who now works had the right to tell them, ‘Sorry, we Koster, an insurance broker specialas director of faith initiatives for don’t want you.’” izing in student accident and sickness the grassroots coalition Campaign Under the Affordable Care Act, stu- plans. The mandate also applies to for Better Health Care, paid a $132 dents without insurance are required graduate students. Those uninsured monthly premium for an insurance to purchase healthcare through the by their parents or older than 26 are plan offered through the univer- government’s online insurance mar- required to purchase a plan through sity, even though it didn’t cover ketplace, according to Patricia Rios, the marketplace. any expenses related to her cancer. associate vice president of Columbia’s “The government wants to ensure When she had difficulty finding office of Human Resources. The mar- that people have proper medical health insurance coverage as a result ketplace, which was launched Oct. 1, coverage, so [the Affordable Care of her diagnosis, Palys said she felt her allows students to purchase health- Act] is just another avenue,” Rios options were limited because insur- care packages for as little as $50 a said. “Students have three places ance companies did not legally have month, according to an Oct. 1 email now where they can get insurance: to accept her at the time; however, to student workers from Human Re- their parents’ insurance, the insurthe Patient Protection and Affordable sources and the Student Employment ance you buy through Columbia [via Care Act, informally known as Obam- Office. Columbia’s Human Resources Gallagher Koster] or you can go to acare, combats that problem by mak- and Student Employment offices com- the[marketplace].” ing coverage available to people with plied with the federal law requiring According to Human Resources’ pre-existing conditions. institutions to inform students of the statement, every uninsured student Just one year after Palys’ diagnosis, health insurance options by that date. must obtain health insurance by Jan. the landscape of student healthcare is Rios said the college currently does 1, 2014 or pay a penalty of either $95 changing. While public colleges and not offer health benefits to part-time or 1 percent of his or her income, deuniversities, including the University staff and student workers, both of pending on which amount is greater. of Chicago, were previously the only whom are defined as working ap- Some are exempt from the penalty, institutions to require health in- proximately 25 hours a week. In ad- including individuals with an ansurance plans, the Affordable dition to stipulating that colleges nual income of less than $10,000 or Care Act now requires all must provide student workers with members of a religion that opposes uninsured students and an outlet for obtaining health cover- certain benefits offered through

ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS COVERED BY STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS: AMBULATORY PATIENT SERVICES EMERGENCY SERVICES HOSPITALIZATION (SURGERY) MATERNITY & NEWBORN CARE MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER SERVICES PRESCRIPTION DRUGS REHABILITATIVE SERVICES LABORATORY SERVICES

BY JAN. 1, 2014, EVERY AMERICAN MUST HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE BY 2014 MUST PAY A PENALTY FEE OF $95 OR 1% OF THEIR INCOME, WHICH EVER IS GREATER.

All Infographic Information Courtesy HEALTHCARE.GOV

8 • October 21, 2013

PREVENTIVE & WELLNESS SERVICES, CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT AS WELL PEDIATRIC SERVICES

October 21, 2013