FAMU student health insurance is in effect

Courtesy of Kirra Martin

The new Mandatory Health Insurance regulation is now in effect for the 2016-2017 academic school year. The regulation implements mandatory health insurance for all students who are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at any campus of Florida A&M University, beginning June 2016 Summer B term, according to a notice of proposed new regulation document provided by FAMU’s student health services.

Students who are insured were encouraged to complete and submit the waiver form online before the Sept. 10 deadline, according to an email from student health services. Students who have not submitted a waiver for for the new insurance plan will be charged a $775 fee for the university-sponsored program.

Florida A&M University is one of the last universities within the state of Florida to mandate insurance for its students. Since 2007 Florida State University has mandated  insurance for their students, according to a study by the Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA).

The current health fee, which is not a part of the insurance plan, allows students access to clinical and counseling services. Doctorate of public health and coordinator of FAMU health promotions and outreach Melvena Wilson said FAMU’s health clinics provide a lot to the students.

“Not all campuses have health clinics that allow students the access that ours does, which is a plus for our students,” Wilson said.

Mandating health insurance for students complies with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which was intended to increase health insurance quality and affordability for U.S. citizens.

Some students who were already insured acted with urgency when completing the waiver to avoid fees. Fourth-year FAMU criminal justice student, Jazzmine Barber of Miami, Fla.  was adamant about applying for insurance.

“I've been here since 2012, and we weren't required to have insurance then … I was always insured though. When I found out about the waiver I made sure I applied quickly as possible to avoid being charged,” Barber said.

The Student Health Services center has taken a proactive approach to continuously inform students since the beginning of the semester, keeping them updated of the recent changes.

“We were diligently sending out emails and text alerts to keep students updated before the deadline approached. Students should constantly check their emails for any future updates as well,” Wilson said.

For more information about the new regulation visit: www.famu.edu/Shs.