The college is considering the creation of its own self-insured coverage that it would call UOCare.
The University of Oregon has now decided to consider the creation of its own student health plan in order to provide insurance to those who are enrolled at the college, in order to help to make certain that those who are enrolled are also covered.
Should the university self-insure, it will affect both new and returning students for the term starting in the fall.
The student health plan would include the on-campus healthcare plus that is already in existence, but at the same time, it would also cover an off-campus network of hospital, urgent care, doctor, and counselor services that had not yet been identified by the time of the writing of this article. That said, the UOCare program would be designed to ensure that it complies with the federal health care reform (Affordable Care Act) requirements. This is important, as the penalty for going without coverage is rising from this year’s $325, to $695 next year.
The Board of Trustees at the university will be meeting in early June to discuss the student health plan.
This will occur on June 4 and 5, and will look into a type of health insurance that would have the university, itself, taking on the financial risk of covering its students, instead of paying an insurance company to do it for them.
According to student life vice president, Robin Holmes, “If we don’t provide something for students, they will have to navigate the state exchange themselves,” adding that “They also most likely will pay a higher cost on that exchange because they will be lumped in with older Oregonians.”
Should the University of Oregon decide to provide sell health insurance to its students, it would place the school in direct competition with insurers that are already selling to the general public within the state. Currently, there are 39 different plans from which students in Lane County, Oregon can choose, which are offered by about a dozen different insurers.
As of yet, the university has not quite worked out the details of the overall cost and potential premiums for its student health plan, but its concept as a whole has now been introduced and it will attempt to be worked out in future meetings by the Board of Trustees.