West Virginia University now requires all students to have health insurance – suggests Obamacare

Grae Stafford | Freelance Photographer

Starting next year, West Virginia University will require all students to be covered under healthcare before they can attend class, and is suggesting that students sign up for Obamacare.

An email circulated by Ken Gray, the university’s vice president for student affairs, and addressed to”WVU Parents, Students, and Families” states:

“Beginning academic year 2014-15, all WVU students will be required to have health care coverage.  Many universities around the country use this model to ensure that students are protected against unforeseen and catastrophic medical expenses.”

The email stresses that “Because health problems can interfere with academic success, West Virginia University is in the process of making important changes in the health care of our students.”

The email recommends two options for the 29,466 students enrolled at WVU to use for their healthcare. These are detailed in the email.

The first option suggested is: “Aetna Student Insurance – If your student is in need of health insurance, WVU contracts with Aetna Student Health Insurance to offer an affordable, comprehensive, ACA-compliant policy tailored to student needs. Information can be obtained at www.aetnastudenthealth.com or by calling 304-293-0257.  To be certain that your insurance, or any insurance that you choose to purchase for your student, meets the criteria required by WVU, please go to:  http://tinyurl.com/kethenf.”

The second option recommended in the email is the Affordable Care Act, and the letter directs students to the the highly dysfunctional online health insurance market place to secure coverage.

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers qualified students who are uninsured with options for discounted or free health insurance. Open enrollment began October 1, 2013, and ends March 31, 2014. For more information call 1-800-318-2596 or visit the website at: marketplace.cms.gov.”

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has been critical of the roll out of the Affordable Care Act and has been one of the most prominent and senior Democrats to voice concerns about the program. His has previously called for a one year delay on the penalties that would be levied against anyone who had not purchased health care coverage.

The full copy of the email reads:

Dear WVU Parents, Students, and Families:

Because health problems can interfere with academic success, West Virginia University is in the process of making important changes in the health care of our students. WELLWVU: The Students’ Center of Health has expanded its services, delivery strategies, and programs.  The changes will promote, educate, and support students in keeping healthy and adopting positive lifestyle choices. These changes include:

New, consolidated wellness facility with expanded hours – During the summer 2014, all of the services and programs within WELLWVU (Student Health, Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services, and the Office of Wellness and Health Promotion) will be moved to their new Evansdale campus location adjacent to the Student Recreation Center. The expansion of our services includes a partnership with WVU Healthcare that allows for extended evening and weekend clinic hours and enhanced coordination with WVU Healthcare specialty services. The new WELLWVU Student Health clinic is staffed by physician faculty from the WVU School of Medicine and other WVU Healthcare providers, and is designed to provide prompt and comprehensive medical care for a complete range of student health issues.

HEALTH INSURANCE
Beginning
 academic year 2014-15, all WVU students will be required to have health care coverage.  Many universities around the country use this model to ensure that students are protected against unforeseen and catastrophic medical expenses.

Billing Insurance for Medical Services – Students using the medical services provided at the WELLWVU Student Health Center may have these services either billed to their health insurance provider or pay from their own resources when services are rendered; the choice is theirs. If students choose to use their health insurance, they will be asked to provide the co-payment (as determined by their carrier) at the time of service. Students will need to present a copy of their insurance card upon check-in. Insurance can also be billed for any medical costs incurred if the student is referred for testing or treatments. Please be aware that many plans require prior approval before a student can be seen by anyone except their primary care provider. Students should inquire with their family’s insurance company to discuss their eligibility of benefits and reimbursement procedures before using WELLWVU Student Health.

Aetna Student Insurance – If your student is in need of health insurance, WVU contracts with Aetna Student Health Insurance to offer an affordable, comprehensive, ACA-compliant policy tailored to student needs. Information can be obtained atwww.aetnastudenthealth.com or by calling 304-293-0257.  To be certain that your insurance, or any insurance that you choose to purchase for your student, meets the criteria required by WVU, please go to:  http://tinyurl.com/kethenf.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers qualified students who are uninsured with options for discounted or free health insurance. Open enrollment began October 1, 2013, and ends March 31, 2014. For more information call 1-800-318-2596 or visit the website at: marketplace.cms.gov.

Additional Health Care Information –WELLWVU student health patient information is stored in a  secure, consolidated electronic record system managed by WVU Healthcare | WVU Hospitals. New patients are encouraged to provide necessary registration information in advance by calling 1-800-324-1468 (or locally 304-598-4998) before they need to use WELLWVU services.

MyWVUChart – All registered patients will be assigned a medical record number that enables them to use MyWVUChart. This service will allow students to request an appointment with a provider, access their health summary, view test results, request a refill for prescriptions, and communicate electronically with their medical care team. Once proper authorization is given, if elected, this electronic record also can be viewed by other health care providers, such as the student’s home town physician.  Students can register for this service at www.MyWVUChart.com.

Please visit the WELLWVU website (http://well.wvu.edu) for more information as well as a comprehensive list of WELLWVU services and programs.  If you have questions about the new insurance requirement, please call 304-293-WELL (9355) or e-mailWELLWVUbusinessServices@mail.wvu.edu. Our mission is to enable students to successfully achieve their academic goals and promote lifelong wellness.

Thank you,

Ken Gray

Vice President for Student Affairs

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