Cornell and Columbia Universities, NYU and University of Rochester have all received the nod.
The University of Rochester, Columbia and Cornel Universities, and NYU, have all just announced that they have received approval to sell their own health insurance to students.
This pilot program was first authorized by Governor Andrew Cuomo at the start of the month.
The Governor gave his approval after it had passed through the Senate and the Assembly in the state earlier in 2012. Last year, similar legislation had been signed in Colorado, Utah, and Montana. This allowed their states to join the many across the country that allow universities and private colleges to sell health insurance to their students.
Health insurance is provided by many large universities, such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.
The New York universities had been working together and approached the Department of Financial Services in order to discover the best ways in which their students could be directly supplied with health insurance.
The official press release that announced the signing of this bill explained that “State insurance law does not permit a New York institution to self-fund a student health plan without a license to do business as an insurance company. As a result, an institution must purchase a policy from an insurer or incur the costs of becoming a licensed insurance company.” Therefore, these educational institutions will no longer be required to buy policies from insurers.
The goal is to help to reduce the amount of administrative cost and, in doing so, provide health insurance at a more affordable rate. The new bill gives universities the ability to self fund their health insurance plans, as their significant endowments, which are anywhere from $1.7 billion to $7.8 billion, are adequate enough to offer them the necessary financial security.
Furthermore, it was pointed out that while each of these universities do have an association with a local major medical center, that connection was not a factor in the selection of these institutions for offering health insurance directly. These larger schools may be used as a test to see whether or not the model will function at other universities in the state, as well.