STUDENT HEALTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE

2005-06

(SHAC)

 

Committee Chair: Ben Darbro

Committee Members: Jennifer Kroeger, David Hennessy, Marcina Matthias, Chloe Mellecker, Manish Aggarwal, Victoria Sharp, Ruth Spieker, and Linda Liedtke

Administrative Liaison: Mary Khowassah

Student Health Liaison: Lisa James

Health Iowa Liaisons: Sarah Hansen and Tanya Villhauer

 

Committee Charge (from the University of Iowa Operations Manual): The Committee shall be governed by the terms of the General Charter.  In addition, the Committee shall 1) advise concerning policies regarding the health care provided to students and student families at The University of Iowa, including (among others) those policies and practices respecting preventive health measures and health maintenance services both physical and mental, immunizations, health counseling, health education, screening, dental care, identification of "high risk" persons, and referral to medical and other health facilities within the University and outside it; 2) Provide information concerning student health insurance plans; 3) Advise concerning student participation in health surveys; 4) Advise concerning the dissemination of information in the campus community about the availability of health care.

 

Meeting Dates:

June 21, 2005

August 4, 2005

 September 8, 2005

October 21, 2005

November 16, 2005

February 10, 2006

April 4, 2006

 

Activities, Conclusions, and Recommendations:

1.         UI Student Activities Day: This was the second year SHAC had a booth at this event.  Student Health Services personnel and SHAC members staffed a booth for the duration of the event.  We provided a variety of items including blood alcohol content wheels, condoms, stress balls, highlighter pens, as well as a variety of brochures aimed at educating UI students about safe sex, drug/alcohol abuse, and healthy lifestyles.  We also used this event as an opportunity to inform students of what SHAC is and what types of programming we conduct around the University community.  We developed an informational brochure (see attachment) outlining what SHAC is current working towards and Charter Committee applications so those who were interested could apply for a student position on SHAC.  As with last year, we again received very positive feedback from those who stopped by the booth and with the continued assistance of Student Health Services SHAC plans to participate in the event next year.

 

2.         Carver College of Medicine Student Activities Fair: This was the first year SHAC participated in this event.  We held a drawing for an anatomy textbook (Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy).  This textbook is widely regarded by medical students as the premier anatomy resource.  We received a great degree of interest in our booth and engaged several first year medical students in discussions of how SHAC can better promote healthy lifestyles amongst college students.  SHAC will continue to participate in this event with the assistance of SHS.

 

3.         Homecoming Parade Float: This was the first year SHAC participated in the homecoming parade.  SHAC helped co-sponsor this activity with SHS.  SHAC provided both funds for the entrance fee and helped design and build the float.  The theme of the homecoming parade this year was “Hawkeye Fever…It’s Contagious!”  SHAC and SHS designed a float describing the Top Ten Signs of Hawkeye Fever.  This event was a wonderful opportunity for members of SHAC and SHS to get to know each other better and form a stronger working relationship with one another.  The float went on to win first place!  This event not only provided a great deal of entertainment to the members of the University community, but also served as one more opportunity to inform students that SHAC exists and can be used as a liaison between students and SHS.  Considering the great exposure we received, the furthering of SHAC’s relationship with SHS, and positive feedback from both students and other members of the University community SHAC decided this would be a great event to continue in the future.

 

4.         Student Health 101: SHAC decided to try something new for its fall programming event this year.  Part of SHAC’s charge as a Charter Committee is to advise and assist in measures to disseminate health information and educational materials to students at the University of Iowa.  We had previously constructed and distributed Health Kits to first year students which contained several healthcare related products but little information pertaining to healthy lifestyles and common college specific healthcare issues.  This year, SHAC decided to team up with a group called Student Health 101 (http://www.studenthealth101.com/index.asp) to distribute several healthcare information magazines to first year students.  The original plan involved distributing an initial informational magazine at the beginning of the school year (Aug/Sept) followed by three supplements to be distributed throughout the rest of the school year.  This program cost SHAC nothing to participate in and could have actually worked as a source of revenue if we had distributed enough magazines.  SHAC and Student Health 101 successfully distributed the first magazine to student in the fall; however, Student Health 101 itself had several funding issues and was unable to supply SHAC with further supplements.  SHAC did succeed in distributing the first magazine to a wide audience that extended beyond just first year students.  Unfortunately, Student Health 101 is now moving towards a subscription based health information magazine that SHAC has decided not to pursue due to the cost of the program. 

 

5.         Health Fair: SHAC regularly participates in the spring Health Fair and did so again this year.  As in previous years, SHAC worked a booth that specializes in offering resources to students preparing to go on Spring Break.  Our booth has provided information on safe travel (Destination Health Advice Cards), rave drugs, and safe sex, as well as providing condoms, blood alcohol content wheels, and sunscreen samples.  Three years ago, SHAC began cooperating with Health Iowa to provide free cholesterol screening tests to students.  We have had a phenomenal response.  Cholesterol screening is of vital importance due to its predictive value in assessing one’s risk of future cardiovascular disease.  Members of SHAC continue to be very proud of their involvement in the Health Fair and there is every indication that SHAC will continue to be involved with the Health Fair for years to come.

 

6.         American College Health Association Conference: Each year SHS provides funds for one member of SHAC to attend the yearly American College Health Association Conference.  Each year a member of SHAC brings back myriad ideas for new programming events we could initiate at the University of Iowa.  In the summer of 2005, SHAC chair Benjamin Darbro attended this conference in San Diego, CA.  He reported back to the committee several ideas including information on the Student Health 101 magazine campaign mentioned above.  With the aid of Student Health Services, SHAC tried to cooperate with Student Health 101 this year, however, the program fell short of our expectations (see above).  However, Ben was also able to bring back several ideas concerning the mandatory student health insurance proposal SHAC has been working on over the last three years.  This summer (2006), SHAC sent Marcina Matthias to the ACHA conference in New York City.  Having demonstrated a strong commitment to SHAC, Marcy will share her experience from the conference with the 2006-2007 SHAC.

 

7.         SHS Physician Interviews: One problem that all Student Health Services face is acquainting the student body with the services they offer and creating a trust with students so that they feel more comfortable seeking care at their facilities.  In an attempt to familiarize students with the services and personnel of the UI SHS, SHAC has taken the initiative to interview the various health care professionals that practice at Student Health so that students can come to student health with a better understanding of who will be treating them.  It is SHAC’s hope that this program will create a better understanding amongst students of what to expect when coming to Student Health and make the choice of receiving their care here at the UI more comfortable and easier.  SHAC did not see this program come to full fruition this year but has already received the first of what we hope to be several responses from SHS physicians.  In the future, SHAC will place these responses on our website (http://www.uiowa.edu/~shac) with the ultimate hope of eventually getting these profiles published in the Daily Iowan.

 

8.         In addition to these programs, SHAC researches, develops, and sends letters of support for many campus and community wide programs.  This year, SHAC members begun the process of developing an informational brochure for students on generic medications and researching the IowaCare health insurance program to determine how UI students could benefit from this resource.  It is our hope that the next SHAC continues with these goals and uses the information we have already collected.  In addition, for the last several years, SHAC has discussed at length mandatory health insurance for all students at the University of Iowa.  In the attached report, SHAC has compiled ideas from our earliest discussions as well as several initiatives that took place during the 2005-2006 year.  Please reference this report for our current position and recommendations regarding this important issue.

 

9.         It is also my pleasure to report that SHAC was honored this year as one of the University of Iowa’s most outstanding student organizations.  At this year’s Hawkeye Student Organization Leadership and Service Awards Program (Hawkeye Awards), SHAC was awarded the 2006 Outstanding Student Organization Award.  The criteria for this award included demonstration of consistent flexibility, initiative, creativity, and perseverance; having made meaningful contribution to students, University, or surrounding communities; valuing stewardship; attracting members from different backgrounds, life experiences, and those with diverse perspectives; working in collaboration with other organizations to enhance organization's goals; and exemplifying integrity in all areas of the organization.

 

It has been an outstanding year for SHAC.  We accomplished a great deal this year and laid the groundwork for several future programs. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Benjamin W. Darbro

2005-2006 SHAC Committee Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Health Advisory Committee Report on

Mandatory Student Health Insurance

 

Spring 2006


In 2004, the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) drafted a statement in support of mandatory student health insurance for all students at the University of Iowa.  The following is that statement:

 

After having thoroughly researched and discussed the issue, the members of the Student Health Advisory Committee have decided to endorse mandatory health insurance for all students at the University of Iowa.  We realize that the cost of education can be a determining factor in whether a student chooses to remain at the University of Iowa, thus, several financial considerations were factored into our decision.  We believe that thousands of dollars in healthcare related bills, as opposed to a small monthly insurance fee, is far more likely to financially prevent a student from continuing his or her education.  Furthermore, the cost of mandatory health insurance can be defrayed in part through specific financial aid awards, thus, sparing those students already struggling to afford college an additional expense.  Ultimately, we feel mandatory health insurance for all students is a small price to pay for the lasting protection it offers.

 

Specific thoughts and comments on both the “financial considerations” and other considerations were taken into account by the Student Health Advisory Committee and are presented below.

 

At the root of our financial considerations was the question: What solution will most confidently provide a student the best opportunity to complete his or her education at the University of Iowa?

 

Since the proposal would mandate an additional cost to students, and cost is often a limiting factor in whether a student begins or continues his or her education at the University of Iowa, we examined how this additional cost would affect the “financially struggling student”.

 

Financially Struggling Student

Financial Aid

 

Currently, health insurance can be included in a student’s application for financial aid and the additional cost of insurance can be covered in this way.

 

Scholarships

 

Scholarship awards can possibly be adjusted to cover the cost of health insurance and the additional cost of insurance would be covered in this way.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The question then became: How does requiring the student with no financial aid or scholarships to pay an additional health insurance expense on top of tuition provide the best opportunity for that student to complete his or her education at the University of Iowa?

 

 

 

Financial Reasons

 

1.         Possibility of an Unexpected Health Problem

 

A.                 Basic Rationale: Whereas it is possible that having to pay an additional 15% more money a month may result in a student discontinuing his or her education at the University of Iowa, having to pay an additional 200-300% more (percent based on yearly tuition costs) most definitely would result in that same student lacking the financial resources to continue his or her education (and likely place the student in a financial debt that would last well beyond their college years).

 

B.                 Examples of Possible Unpredictable Health Problems

 

1.                  Viral Meningitis: Average charges for inpatient stay and ER visit = $9,225

2.                 

Experience has shown that these kind of incidents DO happen to college students regardless of any perceived health (see appendix)

 
Appendectomy without Complications: Average charges for inpatient stay and ER visit = $13,100

3.                  Alcohol Related Incidents

a.         Intoxication Related Accident (Fight or fall): ER visit and professional charges from treatment of the injury

b.         Alcohol Poisoning: Ambulance call, ER visit, and professional charges for treatment

c.                   Treatment of Alcohol Abuse: Enrollment in an intensive outpatient program or partial hospitalization

4.                  Maternity/Child Birth

5.                  Automobile Accident

 

    Incident

 

No Incident

 

Insurance

 

Student may potentially save anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 over the course of 4-5 years

 

Result: Student may continue education and will not have future debt

 

Student may potentially lose anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 over the course of 4-5 years

 

Result: Student will certainly discontinue education

 

Student may potentially lose anywhere from $3000-$4000 over the course of 4-5 years

 

Result: Student may not continue education due to premium cost

 

No Insurance

 

Student may potentially save anywhere from $3000-$4000 over the course of 4-5 years

 

Result: Student will not be financially burdened by premiums

 
C.        Pascal’s “Insurance” Wager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.         Premiums May Lower in Cost if Health Insurance was Mandatory Across All Iowa

Campuses

 

A.        Basic Rationale: If student health insurance were mandatory across all Iowa campuses the cost of the premiums may go down, thus, making the cost of health insurance more affordable to students already struggling to afford tuition.

 

B.         In addition, higher enrollments in a state wide university insurance program may provide for better coverage making the cost of the insurance more of a deal for students who would otherwise not be able to afford comprehensive private insurance plans.

 

1.         NOTE: The University of Iowa Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is more than just catastrophic coverage.  SHIP now covers additional healthcare expenses including:

 

                                    a.         Maternity

b.                  Well-Baby/Well-Child Care

c.                   Prescription Drugs

 

2.         NOTE: SHIP also provides a great opportunity for students who cannot get insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions.

 

3.         UISG Resolution SA-R-0505-0xx

 

In May 2005, the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) passed resolution SA-R-0505-0xx that concerned the increased financial burden of mandatory health insurance and “request[ed] the Board of Regents to reject the proposed mandatory student health insurance”.  Specifically, this resolution stated that, “mandatory health insurance presents a significant financial burden for many students and is expected to rise, inhibiting many students from receiving education at the UI.”

 

Following this resolution, SHAC further expanded the concept of the financial burden mandatory student health insurance would create and how it may prevent students from receiving an education at the University of Iowa.  There were two conditions that we felt were representative of this situation:

 

1) The increased cost of mandatory student health insurance would prevent students from applying to and enrolling in classes at the University of Iowa, and

 

2) The increased cost of mandatory student health insurance would prevent currently enrolled students from continuing their education at the University of Iowa.

 

To address the first of these conditions, SHAC conducted both paper and electronic surveys of first year students to determine whether mandatory student health insurance, and the financial burden it may bring, would have prevented them from coming to the University of Iowa.

           

A.        Paper Survey (conducted during several 2005 Summer Orientation Sessions)

1.         Incoming students (and on some occasions, parents of incoming students—these results were compiled separately)

                        2.         Questions and Results of 144 Incoming Students

 

1. How important do you think it is to have health insurance?

Not Important                                                                             Very Important

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9   (9.34)  10

 

2. Do you have health insurance?  Yes (91.7%)  No (3.5%)  Don't Know (4.2%)  Not Determined (0.7%)

 

3. If you did not have health insurance would you voluntarily pay for a policy?  Yes (66.0%)  No (14.6%)  Not Determined (19.4%)

 

4. If health insurance were mandatory for all students would you still have been able to attend the University of Iowa?  Yes (97.2%)  No (2.8%)  Not Determined (0.0%)

Note: Costs of mandatory health insurance can be figured into financial aid packages

 

3.         Questions and Results of 128 Parents of Incoming Students (asked to fill out the survey as they felt their student would do)

 

1. How important do you think it is to have health insurance?

Not Important                                                                             Very Important

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9   (9.82)  10

 

2. Do you have health insurance?  Yes (99.2%)  No (0.0%)  Don't Know (0.0%)  Not Determined (0.8%)

 

3. If you did not have health insurance would you voluntarily pay for a policy?  Yes (83.6%)  No (2.3%)  Not Determined (14.1%)

 

4. If health insurance were mandatory for all students would you still have been able to attend the University of Iowa?  Yes (95.3%)  No (3.1%)  Not Determined (1.6%)

Note: Costs of mandatory health insurance can be figured into financial aid packages

 

B.         Electronic Survey (conducted via mass email to all first year students and redirection to a web-based survey-Spring 2006)

1.         All first year students were sent the mass email (with a line stating that if they had already filled out this survey over the summer that it is not necessary that they do so again)

2.         Questions and Results of 317 first year students (all other non-first year student responses were excluded)

 

1. How important do you think it is to have health insurance?

Not Important                                                                             Very Important

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8     (8.97)  9          10

 

2. Do you have health insurance?  Yes (89.0%)  No (4.7%)  Don't Know (6.3%)  Not Determined (0.0%)

 

3. If you did not have health insurance would you voluntarily pay for a policy?  Yes (72.2%)  No (27.8%)  Not Determined (0.0%)

 

4. If health insurance were mandatory for all students would you still have been able to attend the University of Iowa?  Yes (94.0%)  No (6.0%)  Not Determined (0.0%)

Note: Costs of mandatory health insurance can be figured into financial aid packages

 

(See appendix for individual comments made by students at the end of this survey)

 

C.                 Combined Results

1. Both the paper and electronic surveys

2. Questions and Results of 461 first year students

 

1. How important do you think it is to have health insurance?

Not Important                                                                             Very Important

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9   (9.08)  10

 

2. Do you have health insurance?  Yes (89.8%)  No (4.3%)  Don't Know (5.6%)  Not Determined (0.2%)

 

3. If you did not have health insurance would you voluntarily pay for a policy?  Yes (70.2%)  No (23.7%)  Not Determined (6.1%)

 

4. If health insurance were mandatory for all students would you still have been able to attend the University of Iowa?  Yes (95.0%)  No (5.0%)  Not Determined (0.0%)

Note: Costs of mandatory health insurance can be figured into financial aid packages

 

D.        Review of Paper and Electronic Survey Results

1.         The vast majority of incoming students HAVE health insurance already and would therefore not be required to purchase health insurance prior to enrollment and registration at the University of Iowa

2.         The vast majority of incoming students would still HAVE been able to attend the University of Iowa if health insurance were mandatory

3.         Conclusion: Mandatory student health insurance would be VERY UNLIKELY to prevent students from COMING to the University of Iowa

 

To address the second of these conditions, that the increased cost of mandatory student health insurance would prevent currently enrolled students from continuing their education at the University of Iowa, SHAC would suggest one of the two following options.

 

            E.         Grandfather Clause

1.         Following acceptance of a mandatory student health insurance policy all current students should be informed that they are exempt from this action but are highly recommended to purchase health insurance if they are not already insured

2.         Following the acceptance of a mandatory student health insurance policy all prospective students should be informed that this is a requirement of enrollment/registration that they will be expected to fulfill throughout their college careers

 

F.         Delayed Enforcement

1.         Following acceptance of a mandatory student health insurance policy all current students should be informed that they have up to 1-2 years to purchase health insurance before any penalties would be incurred or before they are automatically enrolled in the SHIP program

2.         Prospective students would still be informed that mandatory health insurance is a requirement that they will be expected to fulfill throughout their college careers

 

In summary, we feel that the financial considerations raised by the UISG were appropriate and as such we spent our time and resources to research these situations and potential solutions.  We found that the financial burden carried with a mandatory student health insurance policy would very likely NOT result in significantly fewer students being able to attend the University of Iowa and that consideration should be given to those current students that may be affected by this policy as such a policy was not in existence at the time they decided to attend the University of Iowa.

 

Following the adoption of a mandatory student health insurance policy, future students will have to consider this requirement in their application process.  Based on our research, it is unlikely that this requirement will directly prevent prospective students from applying to and attending the University of Iowa, however, this requirement may pose a financial problem when these students continue in their education and eventually are no longer covered under their parent’s health insurance policies.  However, in contrast to current students, these prospective students will have advance knowledge of this requirement and can factor this condition into their decision to attend the University of Iowa.  Also in contrast to current students, prospective students will have ample time to make financial plans before such a requirement becomes an issue.

 

In addition to the financial consideration, SHAC considered several other reasons for why a mandatory student health insurance policy is necessary at the University of Iowa.  Several of these reasons are outlined below.  We feel that these reasons are just as important as financial considerations and should not be viewed as any less significant. 

 

Student and Public Health Related Reasons

 

1.         Mandatory Health Insurance May Increase the Number of Students Who Take Advantage of Preventative Care Options and General Healthcare

 

A.        Basic Rationale: Research has shown that both uninsured individuals and specifically uninsured students have lower rates of use of preventative healthcare services and healthcare in general, thus insured students may take advantage of these services more often and be in better health.

 

B.         Examples

 

1.         Uninsured Students have lower use rates of the following preventative care services

a.                   Mammograms (9% insured vs. 7% uninsured students at the University of Minnesota)

b.                  Pap Smears (64% vs. 54%)

c.                   Routine Physical Exams (40% vs. 34%)

2.         Uninsured Individuals have lower rates of the following general healthcare services

a.                   Mental Health Services (13% insured vs. 4% uninsured individuals)

b.                  Compliance with Medical Treatments (39% vs. 13%)

c.                   Filling Prescriptions (30% vs. 12%)

d.                  Receiving Care for Serious Medical Problems (20% vs. 3%)

 

Specific Scenario: A student living in a residence hall develops a headache, sore neck, and flu-like symptoms.  Statistically, if this student does not possess health insurance he or she would be less likely to seek medical care for what may be a case of meningitis.  Meningitis is a contagious, potentially fatal disease that can spread quickly within a dorm environment.  Any delay in seeking medical treatment for this disease can be costly not only to the student who initially comes down with this disease but every other student within that living environment that has close contact with the student. 

 

3.         Mandatory Health Insurance May Reduce the Risk of Death for Students in Severe Accidents

 

A.        Basic Rationale: Research by Joseph Doyle of MIT’s Sloan School of Management has shown that victims of severe accidents who lacked insurance were 37% more likely to die from their injuries than those who had insurance, thus insured students may not suffer from any acute care discrimination that may result in their death.

 

B.         FACT: Unintentional accidents is the leading cause of death amongst 18-24 year olds, therefore prevention of acute care, insurance based discrimination is of utmost importance to college students.

 

Other Considerations

 

1.         General Trend Amongst Other Peer Universities

 

2.         Recommended by the American College Health Association (ACHA)

 

3.         Helps to Address the Nationwide Problem of Uninsured Americans

 

A.        Research shows that 18-29 year olds make up the highest percentage of uninsured Americans

 

B.         Uninsured college students make up approximately 8-10% of the nation’s uninsured

 

D.                 Uninsured Rates for College Students are as Follows:

 

1.                  Full-time Students: 17%

2.                  Part-time Students: 25%

3.                  College Students 23-24 years old: 38%

 

Appendix

 

Story from May 6, 2005 Daily Iowan

 

When UI student Scott Monsma began a road trip east in 2004, he never dreamed he would end up in a Tennessee intensive care unit, tethered by IVs.

 

Nor did the otherwise healthy 24-year-old expect to hear that the lining of his esophagus had ruptured, requiring laser surgery and a surge of unforeseen expenses.

 

The 16-mile helicopter flight to Knoxville was $500.

 

The emergency room was roughly $1,200.

 

The longer he stayed, the higher the bill: $90 for blood transfusions, $80 for X-rays, more than $1,800 for gastrointestinal procedures, and a staggering $18,700 for four days in intensive care. The hospital even forgave $6,000.

 

Still, Monsma left the hospital with more than $20,000 in bills and no insurance to help pay for them.

 

The communications major, who is filing for bankruptcy this week, while working temporarily as a city landscaper, perfectly illustrates the need for UI students to have health insurance, local agents and experts say. His plight is particularly important given the university's recent proposal to mandate health insurance for all students.

 

The proposal, if approved by the state Board of Regents, would require all students to pay an extra $70 for coverage. At present, 3,000 to 4,000 UI students - roughly 20 percent - are uninsured.

 

Statewide, 67,000 Iowans ages 19-29 lacked coverage in 2003, according to Families USA, a nonpartisan consumer-interest organization. Current UI seniors could join those ranks one month after graduation, when many lose the coverage that protects them as students.

 

Some will go on to jobs with full coverage plans. But others, such as Monsma, will not qualify for benefits from employers.

 

In Iowa City, a healthy 25-year-old female nonsmoker can expect to pay between $300 and $400 per month for a comprehensive care plan through an independent agent, experts say. For males of the same health status and age, monthly payments could range from $150 to $200. The greater expense for women is due to possible pregnancy costs.

 

Besides high cost, young people are also uninsured because Medicaid restrictions fail to cover their needs, said John Sopher, an income-maintenance supervisor with the Johnson County Department of Human Services. To qualify in Iowa, applicants must be disabled, pregnant, or have a dependent child younger than 18 while showing financial need.

 

The system's complexity can be daunting, especially for young adults, said Tom Alger, a communications director for the Iowa Insurance Division.

 

"It's definitely a complex issue," he said. "There's a lot to learn, a lot of decisions to make."

 

The Free Medical Clinic, housed in the lower level of the Wesley Center, offers free care for anyone without insurance.

 

Graduates can also qualify for health care through State Papers, a program for Johnson County residents who are treated at UI Hospitals and Clinics but not insured. The county-run program is meant for those who cannot afford treatment. Since his incident, Monsma said he has learned all about these programs.

 

State aid wouldn't cover his mounting medical expenses, though, because his emergency happened outside of Iowa. Nor would his parents' plan, because he was not a student at the time.

 

Meanwhile, the soft-spoken landscaper said he is living "paycheck to paycheck" with $1,000 in bankruptcy fees in addition to rent, food, and cell-phone bills.

 

Though the incident left no physical scars, the bankruptcy will be on his credit report for eight years.

 

Now, he plans to get good health insurance: "I'd be stupid not to."

 

Student Comments from Web-Based Survey (unedited)

 

I have insurance through the University and it is a great plan and relatively cheap. I think health insurance is a really good thing because if for some reason I was to get sick myself or my family would not have to pay as much for the pricey hospital bill.

 

I don't think it should be mandatory for all students. Most students receive it from their parents anyway, but it would be just another payment to add it to financial aid money.

 

I am currently under my parents health insurance policy.

 

I feel the choice to have health insurance (or not to) is dependent on many individual factors. If the University were to offer a lower cost insurance policy to students it would be put to good use by those who may not be able to afford it otherwise. Insuring the health and well-being of U of I students should be a priority; moreover, the University has no right to refuse attendance on an issue of free choice.

 

Is it going to be mandatory? I can't afford health insurance now....

 

I think health insurance is a very important thing.

 

What are the reasons behind requiring it? Student health services are free, and it seems there's no reason. Neither of my parents can get any kind of health insurance through work, so it would be a really high extra expense for us. I don't qualify for any kind of financial aid either, so the note on number five makes no difference.

 

I do not support mandatory health insurance. Costs are high enough.

 

Let it stay optional, seeing as the University keeps increasing tuition, mandatory health insurance will drive many students away due to the costs.

 

Why does student health only accept certain insurance companies?

 

I think health insurance should cover dentistry

 

I love student health! ;)

 

My insurance isn't through the University

 

How much would a mandatory healthy insurance rate cost?

 

I think making it mandatory would be absurd because it should be left up to the individual whether or not they think they need health insurance. I think having it be optional but educating students more on their options would be a much better, more popular way to go.

 

I have a private insurance policy that covers upwards of $18,000 worth of prescription drugs. I'm probably the exception to the rule.

 

Not everyone is as fortunate as me to have funds for health insurance, and it should DEFINATELY NOT be mandatory to attend the university.

 

I would not wish to have mandatory health insurance, but I wouldn't refuse to attend the university because of it.

 

If I think I have ADD and think I need riddelin does would that go on my health insurance?

 

I don't think health insurance should be mandatory for students. It's an adult decision on whether or not they want it, and we are all pretty much adults. But on the other side, for those who may not be able to afford it, the thing about it being in the financial aide would probably be a bonus. Probably because most of those who don't have it probably can't afford it.

 

Question 5 seems to indicate you are thinking of requiring students to have health insurance. If you make admission requirements that are that stupid and unrelated to ability you will lose good applicants. Even though I could have come here with that as a requirement it would be a big black mark against Iowa.

 

I don't fully understand it!

 

Leave it optional. Out-of-state students pay enough.

 

I would hate to see health insurance become mandatory if it was expensive because I don't think anyone should be denied the right to go to college because of their financial difficulties. Maybe there could be some sort of sliding scale in which financial situations would be factored into how much each student has to pay for insurance.

 

Poor people who can't afford health insurance should be helped.

 

 

Research statistics compiled from the March 10-17th, 2003 Student Health Spectrum journal (a publication of the Chickering Group)