While the Affordable Care Act might not personally affect some Ohio State students’ health plans, some think the legislation could make them more likely to stay on their parents’ insurance.
Since the ACA allows students on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and for some of those in Ohio, age 28, some OSU students said it could help them financially.
The ACA requires that all Americans have “minimum essential” health insurance coverage. The law went into effect Oct. 1 with the opening of a website that allows Americans to apply for federal coverage and select policies if accepted. Coverage of the federal plans began Jan. 1 and the open window for enrollment ends March 31.
Samm Burkholder, a second-year in microbiology and psychology, said she’d rather stay on her parents’ plan because she doesn’t have to personally pay.
She also said she is susceptible to throat, chest and other infections. On her father’s insurance, she can save her money to pay for just the medication, Burkholder said.
“The insurance is really expensive, and I am not ready to pay for it,” she said.
Alexandria Pickett, a second-year in chemical engineering, said staying on a parent’s insurance is especially good for students who want to go to graduate school.
“I think (the ACA is) good, because I don’t know if I am ready right now in college to go pay for own health care,” Pickett said. “Being under my parents’ (insurance) is a little bit easier … to just know I am covered.”
Dave Isaacs, spokesman for Student Life, said in an email the ACA “does not impact the level or type of care that students receive though Student Life’s Student Health Services.”
He added, though, the Student Health Services employees have noticed some differences.
“They have noticed, probably with the ACA’s emphasis on preventative care, that a higher number of students than usual are getting vaccinations such as flu shots,” Isaacs said.
He said for the 2013-14 academic year, about 14,300 students are enrolled in the OSU health plan.
The comprehensive student health plan costs $1,150 for domestic students per fall or spring semester and $1,070 for international students. The WilceCare supplement, which allows students who already have health insurance to receive medical treatment at the OSU Wilce Student Health Center, costs $195 per policy year, according to the OSU Student Health Insurance website.
Taneisha Bailey, a second-year in psychology, said the preventative care insurance can provide is good for people who typically avoid seeing a doctor because of the costs.
“Focusing on preventative care (is) a lot of better,” Bailey said. “It can save tons of money when you catch things early on versus (letting) things (get) worse.”
Some students, however, said the ACA hasn’t taken any of their health costs away.
Ciara Townsell, a second-year in Japanese and fashion, is on her parents’ insurance, but said she hasn’t seen many changes since the ACA went into effect.
“Whenever I go to the doctor, I have to pay for every appointment, and those appointments are usually around $200 to $300,” Townsell said, though she added that her parents’ insurance covers some fees.
Because of that, she said she avoids visiting the doctor.
“I would not go to a doctor unless I am really sick,” Townsell said.
Pickett said being able to stay on her parents’ insurance makes things simpler for her overall.
“It makes a lot easier being a student here, and trying to focus on what bills you gotta pay or staffs like that,” she said. “If you cannot afford (health insurance), I mean, you have to have it.”