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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Student insurance makes nice safety net

    Health insurance may not be something you think about everyday, but in times of need, it’s nice to know you’re covered.

    The UA’s Campus Health Services offers student insurance each semester. Sept. 4 marks the last day UA students can sign up.

    Although the program seems like an important investment, is it right for you?

    Like many UA students, Adam Hassan, a molecular and cellular biology senior, has gone though his entire time at the UA without enrolling in one of Campus Health’s insurance programs.

    “”When I’m sick, I just take over-the-counter pills, and if it’s an emergency, I’ll obviously go to the doctor, but how often does that happen?”” Hassan said.

    Many students are insured under their parents’ plans and do not need to purchase student insurance, but Campus Health offer two plans that students can pick from if they need to, said Lori Piper, insurance manager for Campus Health.

    One of the options, the Student Health Insurance plan, is purposely designed for UA students. Students are covered per semester, running this year from Aug. 16 to Jan. 15, 2008.

    Unless they choose to cancel, students are automatically re-enrolled for the spring semester and every semester after that in which they register for classes, according to the Campus Health Web site.

    The second option is the CampusCare Supplement, which provides less coverage, limiting it to services offered only at Campus Health. The coverage period is similar to the Student Health Insurance plan, but begins Aug. 13 and runs until Jan. 6. The same automatic re-enrollment policy also applies.

    Students who wish to cancel or switch their plan have to do so during an open enrollment period using Student Link, Piper said.

    Mohannad Almuagle, a business administration sophomore, is covered with Campus Health’s mandatory insurance policy for international students. He said he sees his insurance coverage as a bureaucratic issue and just another documentation needed to attend the UA.

    “”For me, I’m a healthy, fit guy, so the insurance is just there,”” Almuagle said. “”But I guess it’s nice, just in case anything does happen.””

    Ivan Jimenez knows that all too well, as an injury left him drowning in medical bills two years ago.

    Jimenez, a business management senior, was at the UCLA-UA Homecoming game in 2005 when he was injured while attempting to rush the field after the UA’s victory. Jimenez said he jumped off a stand around four feet high and twisted his knee before landing in excruciating pain.

    “”Everyone thought I tore my ligament,”” Jimenez said. “”I was rushed to UMC, and the rest was pretty much a nightmare.””

    At the time, Jimenez qualified for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which helped finance the cost of hospital bills. He said he didn’t think of picking up Campus Health insurance because AHCCCS was free for him and he wasn’t sure how much Campus Health would cost.

    A year later, Jimenez tried to renew his coverage with AHCCCS but was declined because his income had increased. He recently reconsidered getting Campus Health insurance, but isn’t sure of what its coverage would entail.

    The fact that he lives off campus and is hardly ever near Campus Health during the average school day may also affect his exposure to its insurance plans, Jimenez said.

    “”I don’t know if their marketing scheme isn’t up to par, or if I’m just not curious enough; I just get the e-mail, and that’s that,”” Jimenez said.

    “”What I can say is that not having insurance is a scary thing. Especially when that time comes, and you really need it.””

    Campus Health offers two plans so students have the option of always being covered, not just in the case of an emergency, Piper said.

    “”All UA students are sent reminder e-mails explaining our insurance policies and encouraging them to sign up,”” she added. “”But then, it’s really up to the student to decide.””

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