Graduate Student Senate Discusses New Healthcare Plan
Throughout this school year, GSS has actively been engaging in the insurance negotiations to provide equal, affordable health coverage to all students. Some of the stipulations GSS has advocated for, such as increases in coverage and the inclusion of psychotropic drugs, has been implemented into the tentative plan.
The coverage ceiling has increased from $50,000 to $2.5 million. Other stipulations of note include up front coverage of medications and services, instead of students paying out of pocket and waiting for reimbursements. Meetings are also taking place to discuss a waiver for international students.
GSS President Tracy Kelly says that substance recovery plans and transgender hormone therapy are two of the main issues that GSS has been advocating for, but have not been included in the new policy because of added costs associated with the services. After meeting with representatives from Campus Care, GSS learned that recovery and hormone therapy would only be a $29 and $10 added cost, respectively.
“I think that there will be a resolution in support of that, given the fact that it is such a small increase but means so much,” said Kelly of the hormone therapy costs. “It’s a graduate and undergrad issue.”
Kelly also went on to say that the university has been very outspoken about supporting students in substance recovery, and that GSS felt it would be a “really good gesture to try to assist in some of the coverage.”
Monday, April 30, Dean Ryan Lombardi will be at the GSS meeting to discuss the new policy and answer any questions from both GSS members and any students in attendance. Kelly said that GSS wants to build a policy based on an informed decision.
“Some of the things we wanted to see had costs associated with them… So we were making requests and unsure of what the costs would be,” said Kelly. “Now we can sit down as a body and discuss what constituents are going to pay for what’s important to have and draft a resolution, accordingly.”
As well as participating in the insurance negotiations, GSS has created a survey to gauge patient satisfaction with Campus Care, as well as anonymous HIV testing.
“We have to recognize the fact that we are not the only constituency group on campus,” said Kelly, of GSS’s requests. “However, GSS has been very outspoken since the beginning of the process and we’ve had a lot of successes so far.”
“I have a really good feeling about the power of our advocacy to achieve certain [requests],” said Kelly.Share