The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Variety of options available to students to pay for health insurance

Any college student knows that tuition is not an end-all, be-all amount. Room and board, textbooks and meal plans are continuous out-of-pocket expenses that most students budget for.

Nevertheless, an equally important necessity many students may not consider is securing health insurance.

Julie Bach, an office assistant at Marquette’s Center for Health Education and Promotion, said if students become sick while enrolled as undergraduates, the pre-paid $136 fee included in tuition costs should suffice for Student Health Service visits for minor illnesses.

“The health service offers preventative measures,” Bach said. “Although should something more serious happen, there is a wide referral process.”

Bach said newer developments in serving students include the addition of X-ray screenings.

However, many students like Barrett Heald, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, believe many of Marquette’s health services are often insufficient.

“I’ve heard other people say that the cost and hassle of going there doesn’t pay for what we need,” Heald said.

Heald added that the issue of students solely paying for their insurance is somewhat irrelevant to many students.

“I am fortunate enough that my health care bills are always accounted for,” Heald said. “I personally do not know anyone at Marquette who can’t pay for insurance.”

While some situations may force undergraduate students to larger health facilities like hospitals and clinics, Marquette does offer health care plans for graduate students through independent companies.

Tracy Tillman of Rust International Associates, one company with an insurance plan offered for Marquette graduate students, said her company’s plan costs about 30 to 40 percent less than typical insurance plans. She said the coverage is comprehensive and includes a drug card.

The plan is available to all full- and part-time graduate students carrying a credit load of 6 credits or more, according to the Marquette student health insurance web page.

According to the company’s website, coverage costs $500 to $600 per semester and ranges from basic coverage to premium prices.

Marquette also offers a voluntary student health insurance plan available to all undergraduate and graduate students through the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which is underwritten by WPS Heath Insurance. The plan covers between 60 and 100 percent of cost depending on the health care provider. Student health centers are completely covered.

Some students, like international students at Marquette, may find difficulty in funding health insurance plans or transferring their coverage to American plans.

However, Tillman said because they have enrolled in a university and must pay tuition, such students have already proven their financial stability.

Heald said such assumptions may affect these students, because financial responsibility pertaining to tuition does not necessarily indicate sufficient funds for health care.

“It’s wrong to assume since they have money for tuition, they can also pay for health care,” Heald said.

Renay Austin, manager of patient access and registration at Aurora Sinai Hospital on Wells Street, noted the influx of Marquette students seeking health treatment and said students use both their parents’ insurance and student-coverage plans.

Austin described Marquette as a prestigious university with few students lacking insurance or adequate funds to pay for their healthcare needs.

She added that Marquette seemingly serves patients in self-diagnosing their students as needed, but admits that certain situations must require hospitalization, and in turn, insurance payments.

Undergraduates seeking university-provided insurance may consult the university’s Office of Risk Management, where numerous healthcare options are offered. However, such plans are equal in price to graduate plans.

Marquette’s Student Health Service was unavailable for comment as of press time.

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