Prior to and during the Fall 2013 semester, many international students were informed that there will be changes to their health insurance plans for the upcoming semester. One of the major changes was a noticeably increase in the cost of premiums. This was the case at North Dakota State University. According to the school’s very own newspaper The Spectrum between October to December 2013, international students were notified that for 2014 their insurance will increase up to $1300. The reason for the increase was that students would receive “dental and eye care, which were not covered in the past.” It is safe to say that for many international students, dental and vision care is not at the top of their list when they are looking for health insurance coverage. They are more focused on affordability combined with above average coverage.
Despite the increase in premiums that some schools have put in effect, there are others that have opted not to increase the cost of insurance for the sake of their students. Schools such as Bowie State University informed their students that for the 2013 – 2014 academic year, the school would no longer offer health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, there are school systems like the Montana State University System who are exploring other options in order to cushion the cost. According to a November 2013 article by missoulian.com the school system is planning on either assuming the place of their current insurance company and absorb the cost or getting rid of the student health insurance plan all together.
As the changes with health insurance continues, international students should take this opportunity to learn more about how the changes affect them and what they can do. International students should have access to affordable yet comprehensive health services just like their American classmates. According to a recent article on fsunews.com, Florida State University student senators are pushing a new bill called Resolution 10. This primarily deals with lowering health insurance premiums for international students attending the university. As John Emanuello, one of the three senators sponsoring the bills, puts it “… access to affordable health care is a basic human right that should be afforded to all, regardless of national origin.”