UC Davis to withdraw from UC Student Health Insurance Plan

After the recent discovery of a $57 million deficit in the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP), UC Davis has made the decision to withdraw from UC SHIP and move forward with alternate options.

The deficit has been accumulating since 2010; monthly monitoring of the plan was not performed at the same level that it had been previously.

UC Davis’ share of the deficit is $10 million. The UC Office of the President (UCOP) is currently reviewing options for dealing with the deficit.

“UCOP has not made a decision for how the deficit will be paid off. There are a variety of options under consideration that have been presented to President [Mark] Yudof, but no decision has been made,” said Brooke Converse, media specialist at the UCOP. The office is currently working to find funds so students will not have to pay for the deficit.

UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside and UC Irvine have also decided to withdraw from the UC SHIP medical plan.

“We are withdrawing students from the medical portion of the UC SHIP plan but remaining in the UC SHIP dental and vision plans (which are both fully insured),” said Angela Monterrubio, student representative for UC Davis at UC SHIP advisory board meetings, in an email interview. “There will be a rate increase for the new year plan that is similar to the increase that would have been incurred had we stayed with UC SHIP.”

The UC Davis Student Health Insurance Plan committee has reviewed proposals from different health insurance providers and is moving forward with Aetna Student Health, a fully insured plan, according to UC Davis Dateline.

According to Monterrubio, in an effort to mitigate the rate increase for the new year plan, there have been recommendations for benefit modification to the student plan. These include raising co-insurance from 10 percent to 20 percent, raising the deductible from $200 to $300 and raising office visit co-pays from $20 to $25.

“The biggest thing is for us to look at the implications of the decision. We have to think about affordability for students and lifetime caps,” said Bradley Bottoms, ASUCD Vice President.

In an effort to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, UC Davis will eliminate all caps on claims. Students will still be seeing an increase in insurance rates next year.

“Regardless of whether or not we stayed with UC SHIP, the student insurance rates were going to increase,” Monterrubio said. “But by converting over to a fully insured plan, and making some modifications to the plan, we are ensuring that the overall impact of this increase is minimized not only in the current year, but the next year as well.”

LAUREN MASCARENHAS can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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