CSU student insurance offers healthcare alternative

By Danielle Leonard

Cleveland State has its students covered with its own affordable insurance program, offered through CSU Health and Wellness to promote student health and prevent injuries and illness.

Eileen Guttman, Supervisor of Health and Wellness, spoke about the benefits of student health insurance.

“Compared to what is out there – except for Medicaid – our insurance is the cheapest for students,” said Guttman.

If a student wants health insurance through CSU, they can sign up through their CampusNet account under the health tab and follow the instructions to sign up. The deadline to sign up is September 25, 2017, and several levels of coverage.

“The best plan to go with is the gold plan, which is $698 a semester and $1,759 a year,” Guttman said. She went on to explain that there is a $500 deductible and the insurance covers 80 percent of costs and the student only has to cover 20 percent.

“This plan covers any medical needs in the Health and Wellness Center,” Guttman said, “There might only be a five dollar co-pay if given an antibiotic.”

The other plan Cleveland State offers is the silver plan which is $1,745 a year, but has a $1,500 deductible.

Whichever plan the student chooses, it will get applied to the students CampusNet account and can be paid by payments. The day after the student applies the insurance will be in effect.

“The Health and Wellness Center can also refer students to the best cost effective health care facilities if we cannot accommodate the students,” Guttman said, “However, most of the students’ medical issues can be helped in the Health and Wellness facility.”

Although student health insurance is great to have, there are a few downsides. International students and Residence Hall residents are required to have health insurance, and the student health insurance is immediately applied to these students’ university accounts  — even if they already have insurance.

If these students already have insurance, they must sign a waiver by September 15, 2017 for the fall semester and February 2, 2018 for the spring semester in order for the insurance to come off of their account.

Megan Doyle, a senior, and resident on campus for three years was frustrated by the process she had to go through to remove the health insurance from her account.

“I had to fill out so many questions to prove I had insurance, which was a big hassle,” Doyle said, “If I needed insurance I would have signed up for it.”

Despite the challenges, 1,382 students purchased student health insurance last year. This leaves many concerned that their coverage would change with changes to the Affordable Care Act.

“There would be no changes this year,” Guttman said, “But moving forward it would depend on what happens. Based on students’ needs, we would always make sure to have some things covered, such as birth control.”