The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 3rd

UNC satisfied with system insurance plan

Although the implementation of the UNC system’s student health insurance was not without its glitches first semester, students and administrators say they were satisfied overall with the enrollment and the quality of coverage.

“UNC is pleased that an affordable health insurance plan is available and that 59,653 students were able to utilize it in the fall while 135,784 students had access to other creditable coverage and waived out,” said Bruce Mallette, senior associate vice president for academic and student affairs for the UNC system, in an e-mail.

But some students complain the waiving out process is inefficient.

For example, waiving out must be confirmed with an e-mail from the insurance providers Pearce & Pearce to be valid and a student might be required to waive out both semesters if he or she did not request to waive out for the full year initially.

Administrators also said enrollment could rise this semester.

Pearce & Pearce is in the process of re-verifying the insurance information of students who successfully waived out for the fall semester, Mallette said.

“History shows that five to 10 percent of students who receive an approved waiver in the fall have become ineligible under their other creditable coverage by time spring semester arrives,” he said.

As of Jan. 1, across the UNC system, 125,030 waivers had been approved for the spring semester, with only 220 of those pending or needing additional information, he said.

Students have until Jan. 31 to waive out of the insurance for the spring semester or to enroll if they had previously waived out.

If a student does not receive confirmation from Pearce & Pearce of waiving out, then their request was not processed, said Mary Covington, executive director for Campus Health Services.

“We have no way to track this,” Covington said of glitches in the system.

The system is largely dependent on the students’ attention to and action upon e-mail updates.

It is possible students with credible coverage were denied waiving out if they entered some incorrect information, like an incorrect policy number, Mallette said.

Although those students were sent an e-mail to correct their information, if they did not follow up, their waiving out was denied and they were required to pay for the systemwide insurance, he said.

All students with a declined waiver were sent five follow-up e-mails during the open enrollment process in the fall, Mallette said.

The Student Health Center directors, UNC General Administration and the UNC-system Association of Student Governments are currently reviewing potential revisions, Mallette said.

Contact the State & National Editor at state@dailytarheel.com.

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