Wednesday, January 30, 2013

UC Students and Health Insurance

The headline is Obamacare Loophole Threatens UC Students--but does it really?  That fact that it doesn't give them new, free (ie, paid for by someone else) healthcare, does that mean it really threatens them?  Talk about some biased reporting!
Life was great for Kenya Wheeler in the spring of 2011. He'd just enrolled in a UC Berkeley master's program in city planning and had won a research position that would pay his fees. Healthy as a horse, he biked to campus every day.

A year later, a cancer diagnosis had changed everything. Wheeler, 38, had so many medical bills that he reached the $400,000 limit allowed by his UC student health plan. He scheduled a hasty wedding with his girlfriend in March so he could continue receiving life-saving chemotherapy through her insurance.

"I didn't know when I was diagnosed that I would be in for a battle to fight my cancer - and for my medical care," Wheeler told the UC regents at this month's meeting in San Francisco.

Health care limits like the one imposed by UC are already illegal under the sweeping federal health-care law - dubbed Obamacare - that takes full effect next Jan. 1. But the health care act does not apply to "self-funded" college plans like UC's, in which the university takes on the financial risk of medical claims.

Now, thousands of UC students are demanding through a petition drive that the university voluntarily lift its insurance caps.
It amazes me when our privileged UC students want even more--and they want me to pay for it!  This state is going to continue reaping a bad harvest if this is what we're sowing amongst our putative best and brightest.  Don't they know this state is already broke?  How do they expect the state to pay for this?  My guess is they don't care as long as they don't have to pay for it.  They don't understand that most basic of natural laws, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.


Anonymous said...

"He'd just enrolled in a UC Berkeley master's program in city planning"

City planning. Right, can't let those peasants figure out their own living spaces, can we? These are the people who gave us the projects and "affordable housing."

maxutils said...

While that's true? We have allowed UC tuitions to rise exponentially. And I find it difficult to elieve that the number of college age students who exceed $400,000 in health care costs is so small as to be insignificant.

Anonymous said...

From the article:

"There's a loophole in Obamacare that exempts (self-funded) student health plans," doctoral student Charlie Eaton of the UC Student Employees Union told the regents. "We ask you to voluntarily drop the caps this year. We don't want anyone to have to go through what Kenya has gone through."

UC officials say they're weighing their options but are hesitant to voluntarily lift the caps until they know what it would cost - and how much they'd have to raise the price of student health care to pay for it.

"It's a front-burner issue," said Peter Taylor, UC's chief financial officer, who became aware of the problem last summer. "We're not making a profit on (student health care) - but I can't afford to lose money, either."


Meanwhile, UC and other universities, including Harvard, have asked federal health officials to add self-funded student health plans to the new law, in which case UC would be required to lift the caps, said Grace Crickette, UC's chief risk officer. Asked why, Crickette said it was to benefit students, who might otherwise suffer tax penalties.

So UC Berkeley is reluctant to lift the cap because the money to pay for the lifted cap has to come from somewhere ... and UC Berkeley is asking the feds to *require* that UC Berkeley lift the cap?

"I don't know if I can afford this, please make me do it ..." ????

-Mark Roulo

Darren said...

We call that "liberal logic".

Mike43 said...

Another game of "unintended consequences." And what do you bet that UC Davis voted nearly 100% for Obama?

Don't Dems ever get tired of having to be rescued from their own lack of competence?

Unknown said...

These educational institutes fetch money from us by raising tuition fee from time to time and when the time comes to pay it back they find ways to limit the fundings.

Darren said...