The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Insurance increase: does Obamacare help or hurt students?

Imagine the perfect summer day: sleeping in, taking a trip to the pool and doing just enough to feel productive on a truly unproductive day. Then imagine going to your mailbox. You see a letter from Guilford telling you that the health insurance premium has increased $511 per semester. What would your first reaction be — to shudder at the thought of paying the school more money? To hope that there is some acceptable reason for this increase? Or to just throw the letter on the counter and let your parents worry about it?

Regardless of your reaction, you are witnessing the alleged effects of the Affordable Care Act on Guilford College. The act, nicknamed “Obamacare”, ensured that all Americans have health insurance while paying what they can afford. However, for colleges and universities in North Carolina, the price is rising due to new regulations.

For Guilford, this means a jump from $668 last year to $1,179 this year. In an interview with CNN, Vice President for Finance Greg Bursavich and University of North Carolina’s Director of Campus Health Mary Covington acknowledged the substantial spike in insurance premiums.

“Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations,” said Bursavich in a letter to students.

“As the coverage continues to increase, as mandated by the law and the regulations, there is no question the cost is going to go up,” Bursavich further elaborated to CNN.

Covington was more blunt in her statement to The Daily Tar Heel.

“Nothing is ever free,” said Covington. “Eventually the cost of (benefits) will somehow be put into the cost of the policy.”

In Guilford’s case, the price increase is much larger than that of public universities.

The main reason for the price hike, Bursavich wrote to CNN, is that health plans provide a minimum policy benefit of $100,000 instead of the $50,000 minimum previously offered by the Guilford-provided plan.

“Much like food or car shopping, if you pay for better quality you usually get better quality,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow. “Some of the extended coverage requirements also resulted in higher premiums across the country, and not just for college students.”

Professor of Economics Bob Williams sees the intent of the Affordable Care Act, and hopes others will look past the obvious premium increase.

“The premiums have risen because we must offer a more expansive set of services to our students,” said Williams.

“I worry that some might think that the increased premiums are simply the result of federal government intrusion, or worse: waste.”Some students support the increase and others disagree. Junior Kelly Cope is happy with the change in the insurance policy and sees it as a step in the right direction.

“I think private insurance companies suck, because they’re only around to make money off of sick people,” said Cope. “If there was any problem with Obamacare, it’s that it didn’t go far enough.” Others believe the Affordable Care Act is unneeded and unwelcomed.

“I do not believe that driving the country farther into debt by forcing people to buy a mandated healthcare plan is the function of government as it was originally intended,” said junior Joseph McManus.

One thing is certain; the Guilford community is noticing Obamacare.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *