Commentary

Health Insurance Costs Skyrocket For College Students Due To ObamaCare

By Ron Meyer | August 27, 2012 | 2:38pm EDT

Can we stop calling ObamaCare the Affordable Care Act now?

A Young America's Foundation activist forwarded an email from the Vice President for Finance at his school, Guilford College (Greensboro, NC), informing him that, "For the 2012-13 academic year, the annual cost of the student health insurance is increasing from $668 to $1,179. This insurance premium has been charged to your student account."

Why the increase? "Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations issued on March 16, 2012 under the Affordable Care Act."

Guilford College has been forced to raise their student premiums 76 percent, yet this administrator still insists on calling it the Affordable Care Act.

Seems a bit ironic, to say the least.

Guilford joins a long list of colleges raising their premiums. Virtually all current student insurance plans do not meet ObamaCare's mandates, and Forbes reports colleges have been forced to drop their plans or raise their premiums rates as much as 1,112% (and no, that's not a typo).

Most students like their current healthcare, but they can't keep it. 

In the email to Guilford students (available in full here), the VP of Finance lays out exactly why they were forced to hike costs:

"As a result, all collegiate student health plans with an effective date of July 1, 2012 or after must provide a minimum benefit of at least $100,000 per policy year, have no limits on benefits deemed essential by the Act, and provide a preventative care benefit with no deductible, co-pays or co-insurance.  In compliance with these mandates, (emphasis added) the following changes have been made to the College's student health insurance policy.

"For the 2012-13 academic year, the annual cost of the student health insurance is increasing from $668 to $1,179."

For those who don't understand insurance mandate regulation jargon, this means catastrophic health insurance plans (primarily covering accidents only) have been banned for students. Students, who often don't need luxury plans, prefer lower cost policies with fewer benefits. This allowed for much more affordable premiums.

Student healthcare choice has been replaced with expensive ObamaCare mandates.

That's why it's not just happening at Guilford (a small liberal arts college with around 2,700 students). Some of the most egregious cost hikes include:

  • The State University of New York in Plattsburgh raised their premium from $440 per student to between $1,300 and $1,600;
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, NC) raised theirs from $245 to $2,507; and
  • · The University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA) raised theirs from $165 to between $1,500 and $2,000.

Young Americans are already dealing with record-smashing college debt and unemployment, and the Obama administration should answer for these added costs to students.

President Obama will be traveling to campuses across the nation this week trying to sell ObamaCare to young people. Students on campus--or any conservative leaders visiting campus--need to call the Obama administration's bluff.

See more "Right Views, Right Now" opinion and analysis.

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