Daily 49er

CSULB students still in need of coverage despite closing enrollment deadline

Online polling and official surveys indicate that most students already insured.

For+uninsured+students%2C+the+Student+Health+Center+provides+numerous+services+like+Family+Pact+to+those+who+have+paid+the+school%E2%80%99s+health+service+fee+1%2F30.
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CSULB students still in need of coverage despite closing enrollment deadline

For uninsured students, the Student Health Center provides numerous services like Family Pact to those who have paid the school’s health service fee 1/30.

For uninsured students, the Student Health Center provides numerous services like Family Pact to those who have paid the school’s health service fee 1/30.

Hunter Lee | Daily 49er

For uninsured students, the Student Health Center provides numerous services like Family Pact to those who have paid the school’s health service fee 1/30.

Hunter Lee | Daily 49er

Hunter Lee | Daily 49er

For uninsured students, the Student Health Center provides numerous services like Family Pact to those who have paid the school’s health service fee 1/30.

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As the open enrollment period for Covered California comes to a close, uninsured students may want to take advantage and apply.

Yet for many Cal State Long Beach students this deadline may not matter because they are already insured, according to an online survey conducted by the Daily 49er.

The online poll of 55 students indicated that 85 percent of students were insured in some way. Though the sample size was small, these results are corroborated by information provided to the Daily 49er by the school’s Student Health Services division.

In a 2015 survey conducted by Student Health Services, 50 percent of students stated they had private insurance, 22 percent were on Medi-Cal, 8 percent were on Medicare, 2 percent were covered by military-related benefits, and 9 percent were covered by other means. Only 9 percent of respondents had no insurance at all.

“The price is not affordable month to month,” said Victoria Dries, a junior English major. “Even with subsidization from the government, my average payment plan was estimated to be in the triple digits, and simply do not have the budget to accommodate that at this time.”

Those in the uninsured minority who miss today’s deadline aren’t completely out of luck. The Student Health Services division, which saw 10,211 unique visits last year, is available to provide fundamental medical services for registered students who have paid their $75 health services fee. These resources are also available for students who do have insurance.

“Even though students may have health insurance, what we provide may be more convenient and less expensive than what they can receive at other local facilities,” said Mary Ann Takemoto, the director of health services and associate vice president of Student Services.

Several students interviewed outside of the health services building indicated that they were still insured through their parents. They also indicated satisfaction with the services provided here on campus.

“I had a really bad sinus infection and they adequately helped me,” said Sarah Brown, a pre-studio art major, covered under her parents’ health insurance. “They gave me all the prescriptions while I was here, so I didn’t have to go off campus for anything. So it was helpful for me.”

One possible issue associated with getting students insured may simply have to do with the fact that agents with the Covered California program simply haven’t made recent a appearance on campus. In 2016, temporary contractors came to campus to offer plans to students, but according to Takemoto, none came to campus in 2017 or this year.

“I think definitely when you make it a little more accessible to students, and if you show them how to set it up and get it done, I think that’s a little bit more productive and find your own means for [insurance],” said Alyssa Smith, a junior anthropology student.

Dries said that she’s still willing to “wing it,” and go without insurance due to her general good health, financial situation and an inadequate minimum plan offered by Covered California.

For those who are both uninsured and in need of services beyond the direct services that can be found on campus, Takemoto recommended that students still come in.

“We do have a full time case manager, Kristen Hutchcroft,” Takemoto said. “She can assist them in finding low cost or no cost services in their area. I would encourage anyone who feels their coverage is insecure or inadequate to speak with her.”

 

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