Grad students from University of Georgia may lose insurance subsidies
Grad students at the University of Georgia are expressing concern that they may be losing their access to health insurance subsidies provided by the federal government. Per federal law, all U.S. citizens, including grad students, must have health insurance coverage. For many students, however, the only way to afford coverage is to take advantage of subsidies created through the Affordable Care Act. Grad students from other universities have already lost their subsidies, which has put others on edge when it comes to being able to afford their coverage.
University of Missouri grad students have already seen their subsidies vanish
At the University of Missouri, grad students had threatened a walk out after the university announced that it will no longer be offering insurance subsidies. This announcement was made in accordance with provisions of the Affordable Care Act and regulations from the Internal Revenue Service, which say that grad students are not eligible for federal subsidies because they are, technically, employed by universities.
Grad students can be considered employees of universities
According to the IRS, the way that universities work with grad students means that they are employees. As such, they are unable to make use of subsidies because they have access to certain health care plans. If grad students continue to lose access to subsidies, they will have to find other ways to acquire insurance coverage, such as through exchanges that were established in each state. Unfortunately for some, coverage through exchanges may be too expensive, which will leave them without coverage and exposed to fines from the federal government.
Losing insurance subsidies could force students to purchase more expensive health insurance coverage
The University of Georgia is currently reviewing the guidelines set forth by the IRS to determine how health insurance subsidies may remain available for grad students. If grad students can no longer have the financial support of subsidies, they may end up paying much more for their insurance coverage. For private coverage, students are expected to pay some $1,178 for their coverage during the spring and summer semesters.