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Members recommend care plan

Amanda Michaels | Wednesday, December 10, 2003

In a culmination of the debate from last month’s meeting, the Graduate Student Union voted unanimously to recommend to Ann Kleva, director of University Health Services, to place a bid on a $1,022 insurance plan from MegaLife.Kleva received five bid packages for graduate student insurance, but the only two viable options were Chickering, the fronting company for Aetna, and Student Resources, the fronting company for MegaLife. The base premium for each was $989 and $966, respectively, but because Aetna did not offer as good of benefits as Mega, Mega was considered to be the best choice.”The thought was, the cost is lower with Mega and we’ve dealt with them in the past, eliminating the pain of having to adjust to a new company,” said John Young, chair of the health care committee.However, debate remained over which benefits to add and which to cut from the plan – the result of which would affect the cost as well as the health of the graduate students. It was suggested that the pharmacy benefit cap could decrease from unlimited to either $1,500 or $1,000 in coverage a year, that the deductible could increase from $50 to $100 and that coverage after the deductible could decrease from 100 percent to 90 percent. These cuts would save anywhere from $24 to approximately $150. Out of concern that cutting benefits would not actually save money in the long run, the GSU opted for the plan that included all requested benefits, and totaling $1,022 in expense.”The more we pay into the plan, the less usage we accumulate and the less the rate increases over time,” said Young, advocating the most expensive plan. “Besides, we get a top of the line plan with all the benefits we want.”

In other GSU news:u Tim Dale, chair of the academic affairs committee, announced that the graduate students will no longer be able to receive University funding for more than six years – a policy he said the GSU had no decision-making power.u Ericka Olsen, graduate student in mathematics, requested female volunteers for a new tutoring program at St. Margaret’s House, a day center for women and children, set to start in February.