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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    GPSC’s health insurance plan passed by Council of Presidents

    The Council of Presidents passed a new Student Health Insurance Plan along with other improvements proposed by the Graduate and Professional Student Council and the Student Health Advisory Board – a milestone for GPSC, which has worked toward the initiatives for years.

    Paul Thorn, former president of GPSC, has worked on advocating the new SHIP and the added improvements to the Council of Presidents, a group comprised of the three Arizona university presidents.

    “”I was involved at the very beginning,”” Thorn said. “”We conducted a survey of the grad students to find out what they most cared about.””

    Some of the new additions to the SHIP include an added prescription benefit, added coverage for the human papillomavirus vaccine and urgent care coverage.

    One of the biggest new improvements, however, is the added prescription benefit of the catastrophic prescription coverage, Thorn said.

    He

    I will live, eat and breathe ASUA.

    – Jen Dang,ASUA administrative vicepresident-elect

    said the added prescription benefit will help individuals with severe conditions that require multiple forms of prescription medicine.

    The plan won’t pay for the first $1,000, but if the bill is $2,000 the plan will pay for 80 percent of the overhead, lowering the cost to $1,200 for the individual, Thorn said. Charges in excess of $2,000 will be covered by the plan.

    The UA is the only Arizona university with this prescription coverage because in the process of adding different plans the three universities had differing viewpoints, Thorn said. NAU representatives did not want a prescription plan, and Arizona State University lost support for its plan, he said.

    The SHIP was approved for all Arizona universities, and the Arizona Board of Regents requires a call for bids from insurance companies every five years. Bids were received from the current carriers, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Chickering Group, a subsidiary of AETNA.

    The Chickering Group was chosen unanimously by the Tri-University Student Health Insurance Committee.

    The prescription plan will help not only graduate students, but also the UA in terms of competing with other research universities.

    “”The university becomes more competitive in attracting graduate students and faculty because the UA’s peers all have prescription coverage,”” Thorn said. “”Things are changing, and there is a national trend of providing better health coverage for graduate systems.””

    The new insurance plan will be implemented at the beginning of the fall 2007 semester.

    Officials looking

    forward to fall

    With GPSC finishing out the year with a success in student health care coverage, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona are looking to building upon what last year’s ASUA accomplished.

    “”The groundwork has been laid down, and it’s time to elevate it up 15 more levels,”” said Tommy Bruce, ASUA president.

    Bruce said last year’s tuition was set with the largest student involvement and that some of the things he wants to work on are communication with the students and more visibility.

    “”We will have extra visibility and a lot of outreach,”” Bruce said. “”I want to energize all that ASUA can do, so we are going to be kicking it up a notch.””

    Other ASUA officials are also looking forward to next year and are looking for different ways to make ASUA work better.

    Jessica Anderson, ASUA executive vice president, said she will help campus clubs with funding by providing them better access to the Appropriations Board.

    “”I want to create an open-door policy that will reach out to each club on campus,”” Anderson said.

    Anderson said the new board comprises a variety of students with experience in budget management and finances.

    “”Right from the start, I wanted to find unbiased and experienced people to be on the board,”” she said.

    Anderson will also be working on creating an endowment fund for the board as a way to counter state budget cuts and have a solid and reliable club fund.

    “”The club endowment fund is the right direction for the Appropriations Board,”” she said. “”The endowment will be self-paid and won’t be affected by state budget cuts.””

    Jen Dang, ASUA administrative vice president, will also be working on new projects for next year and is focusing on bringing diversity to the campus.

    “”I want to improve upon the Wildcat World Fair and improve collaboration between the different and diverse groups we have on campus,”” she said.

    Dang will also focus on expanding CatsRIDDE, the designated-driving service that transports intoxicated students, and promoting events on the UA Mall.

    “”I will live, eat and breathe ASUA,”” she said.

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