MANDATORY COVERAGE GOES TO COLLEGE

June 7, 2007

Florida's public universities may soon have a new admissions requirement for incoming students -- health insurance.  Students who don't have their own, either individually or through their parents, would be forced to buy a university policy, says the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Mandatory insurance is almost universal among private schools and is a growing trend among the nation's public universities:

  • The proportion of public universities requiring it has grown from 25 percent to 35 percent in the past two years, according to the American College Health Association.
  • Health insurance is already required for international students at state universities.
  • In South Florida, the University of Miami, Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach and Lynn University in Boca Raton require health insurance.
  • The proposal has support from officials at several state universities, including the University of Florida in Gainesville, the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and Florida International University in Miami.

Proponents say a student health insurance requirement would lead to greater participation in university plans that are now optional, which would reduce the costs and increase benefits for students, as well as cut down on the number who must take medical leaves.

Source: Scott Travis, "State's public universities may insist students get health insurance by fall 2010," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 7, 2007.

 

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