There’s a lot of talk lately about health care, but students at Wisconsin’s Private Colleges needn’t worry.
The head of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) says between 25-30 percent of students don’t have health care when they start college, especially now that many aren’t covered by their parents who may have lost their jobs — and their insurance.
“So we wanted to develop a plan that would address the uninsured, that would provide coverage for people that don’t have coverage, and be cost-effective for the students.”
WAICU President and CEO Rolf Wegenke, Ph.D. (pronounce) says many existing student health insurance plans have many exclusions when compared to traditional plans. He says many student plans don’t include coverage for mental health, wellness, basic immunizations, sports and alcohol-related injuries.
“All the kinds of things that would happen to a student, these student health plans don’t cover.”
WAICU was adamant about getting a plan that would cover all the necessities, including vaccines, while being cost effective. One insurance company eventually agreed — coming in roughly two-thirds cheaper than the standard student health plan, with no exclusions for preexisting conditions.
“We insisted when we designed our ideal plan that those things be covered, as well as certain wellness programs, because it’s to our advantage to have our students well.”
Wegenke notes, students can keep their insurance during breaks and for a period of time after graduation. Fourteen out of 20 of Wisconsin’s Private Colleges are participating in that health insurance program, which Wegenke says translates into about 6000 students getting better coverage for less money.
NOTE: This is the fifth year WAICU has offered the student health insurance program.