Factors for Mandatory Health Insurance
Last revised: August 19, 2011 (original publication: October 18, 2002)
Shown below is a mix of historical and current key factors usually present when a college or university adopted/adopts
an institutional requirement for health insurance. Note that these factors are not listed in their order of importance.
- Credible survey data or other documentation establishes the existence of a significant uninsured student population.
- The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created a context for concluding that an insurance requirement would be inevitable if the college or university is continue providing this program (especially given the expecations for plan benefits having to meet federal essential coverage requirements.
- Credible survey data or other documentation establishes that uninsured students have difficulty accessing health care services. This factor may also be linked to diversity concerns since many uninsured populations are disproportionately composed of people of color.
- The state legislature or higher education governing board will require health insurance as a condition of enrollment if the college or university does not take action to resolve its uninsured student population.
- Access for non-emergency health care services are jeopardized for all students because of the uninsured student population (e.g., local health care providers begin requiring prepayment of services for non-emergency care).
- The college or university becomes aware that its voluntary health insurance program does not provide appropriate coverage (or is no longer financially viable) and the problems cannot be resolved without adopting mandatory insurance.
- Developing alternative funding systems for the health service requires that students have health insurance coverage.
- The student health service and counseling center are either perceived as high quality health care providers or an institutional requirement for health insurance will facilitate improvement in these programs.
- Large numbers of students are ineffectively insured by employer-sponsored health plans and/or individual health plans. These students/parents would have significant benefit and/or cost advantages if the college or university requires health insurance and provides a program with comprehensive coverage.
- The college or university has discovered risk management concerns associated with the uninsured student population (e.g., access to emergency psychiatric services).
- Community/governmental relations are negatively affected by the uninsured student population.
- Uninsured students present an unacceptable student retention risk for the college or university because of unexpected health care expenses.
- Uninsured students have resulted in inequitable consumption of resources/risk management concerns for the operation of the student health service or counseling center.
- The college or university is influenced by the American College Health Association's student health insurance/benefit program standards that specify that colleges and universities require students to provide evidence that they have health insurance coverage.
- The college or university has a major peer institution(s) that has recently adopted an institutional requirement for health insurance and has been able to implement a superior student health program.
- Student government leaders and others conclude that mandatory health insurance is in the best interests of the overall student population and that uninsured students will not be precluded from affording any increase in fees resulting from the new requirement.
- The leadership for the college or university will stand behind the new institutional requirement for health insurance during a period of protest that will undoubtedly occur among certain groups of students.