UNF offers students health insurance plan

Spinnaker

During tumultuous economic periods, parents and college students are increasingly looking to more cost effective health insurance plans.

Many are students at an in-between period where they are dropped by their parents’ insurance and don’t have full employer benefits. But UNF offers a student insurance plan through Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida and Collegiate Risk Management.

And many parents are calling to switch their kids from their current insurance to UNF’s because the premiums tend to be lower, said Mary Beth Janson, Student Health Service program assistant.

“What happens often when they reach that magic date, they drop off their parents’ plan, and then the student is left with no insurance at all,” said Karen Giammatteo, business manager for Collegiate Risk Management, the company tasked with enrollment and payments. “It’s important for students to
be insured.”

Risks of not having health insurance include students neglecting to regularly visit a doctor and ignoring problems because they can’t afford it, allowing many health risks to go undetected, Janson said.

Since it’s a group policy, where all students are accepted, it’s more cost effective than most other policies, Giammatteo said.

Even though international students are accepted, they are also allowed to opt out of the program if their insurance provider meets UNF’s compliance mandates.

However, both the domestic and international policies cover international travel.

Students are able to obtain travel assistance coverage through Assist America regardless of enrollment in the school’s insurance plan. This is activated when the student travels 100 miles from home or crosses the border of another country.

Even though it is possible to enroll for either a full year or by semester, students are urged to opt for the year-long plan, even if they intend to graduate the following semester, Janson said. Students will always be looking for a good deal, regardless.

One way to receive less expensive health benefits through Dr. John Derickson of Derickson Vision Consultants, who has agreed to offer UNF discounted prices on eye examination services.

“It’s definitely not a contract,” said Doreen Perez, director of Student Health Services. “He has agreed to promote his services and offer discounts to students. Any doctor can do this.”

DVC has the latest technology in eye care. The newest machine is the OptoMat, which takes a picture of the retina so that the doctor doesn’t have to dilate the eyes.

E-mail Shaena Silvestri at [email protected]