Affordable Care Act has minimal impact on student health system
The Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare, will be implemented in 2014 and will affect many people’s insurance policies.
Insurance companies will be forced to expand coverage of preventative benefits and womens’ health and new rules will be included.
Obamacare calls for everyone to have insurance in 2014. This new policy will not affect ECU because of university’s mandatory rule that student’s must have health insurance.
The university’s student insurance is through Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The Fall 2013 semester was the first semester BCBS was implemented as the university’s official student insurance.
“In reality, that has been the case for a long while. It is not going to affect us,” said Jolene Jernigan, director of clinical operations at Student Health Services. “It will not affect us other than the exception that it now has to meet a criteria, it is a good plan.”
One of the provisions in the Obamacare is the ability of people up to 26 years old may be covered under their parent’s insurance policy. Many health insurance companies already allowed it, but this would make it mandatory under federal legislation.
“The goal [of the Affordable Care Act] is to provide insurance at [a] low cost so everyone has insurance,” said Jernigan. “Part of the goal is also prevention and proactive care.”
Preventive care benefits are emphasized in the new health care act. The new policy plans must cover services like blood pressure screenings, depression screenings and cholesterol screenings. Womens’ health has been further expanded and more services are covered by SHS like birth control and certain screenings.
Under the Affordable Care Act, dental insurance is treated differently for adults and children under 18. Dental coverage for children is available as part of a health plan. This is not the case for adults. Insurers do not have to offer adult dental coverage.
“Adding a dental plan and vision plan [in the future] is important,” said Jernigan. “Dental health is important to the overall health of students.”
Currently, dental and vision have to be bought separately or must be looked for in policies.
Stephen Prys, a freshman engineering major, said he thinks future generations will have to pay for the healthcare plan.
“It might help people who don’t have health care, but I am worried about the job prospects it might affect us in the future,” said Prys. “It might hurt us economically so that our generation will have to pay for it in the future.”
Other issues facing healthcare is the steady rising cost of medical supplies and the decrease in family care and general physicians. There has been a decrease in physicians because many move to higher paying specialties, according to a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The Health Insurance Initiative is an initiative put in place to provide easy access for people to look at health insurance. Currently, there are only two insurance companies listed: Coventry and BCBS. The online market was made available Oct. 2013.
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