The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 18th

Healthy decision

Group health insurance plan for students is a good way to cut down on premium costs

The Board of Governors made the right decision when it mandated that every undergraduate student in the UNC system have health insurance by fall 2010.

Though conservatives might disagree ideologically with the mandate, ultimately the program is a way to extend health insurance to students who can’t afford it while not placing a large burden on the state.

Starting next fall, the UNC system will offer lower-cost coverage for students who currently don’t have health insurance. Those who are already covered will be unaffected.

Cost estimates for the annual premium of this new plan are about $600 and will cover up to $100,000 in expenses.

This estimate is vastly cheaper than most comparable plans currently in place at individual universities.

The reason this plan is so inexpensive is not that the plans will be subsidized by taxpayer money, but simply because of economies of scale.

Because so many students throughout the entire UNC system will be under the same plan, the costs will be low.

Although mandates are often unpopular, this one is necessary.

In order to keep prices down, everybody who does not currently have insurance must buy into it.

And when determining financial aid awards at UNC-Chapel Hill, the $600 premium will be figured into the costs of attending the University.

Thus, anyone unable to afford the premium will be awarded more financial aid to cover the health care plan.

Those who can afford health insurance but have chosen not to purchase it in the past will be given the option to take out low-interest student loans to cover the extra expense of health insurance.

The Board of Governors made a wise decision that will allow all students the opportunity to obtain affordable health insurance.

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